UH: Fundraising for Robertson Stadium Replacement Halfway There

University of Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades reports the university has raised $40 million of the $75 to $80 million it thinks it needs to raise by next spring in order to begin construction of a new 40,000-seat football stadium on the current site of Robertson Stadium at Cullen and Holman streets. The university’s plans for the new stadium — projected to cost $120 million — were announced last summer, along with an extensive renovation plan for the neighboring basketball venue, Hofheinz Pavilion. Construction cost savings, revenue from 22 luxury suites, 200 loge box seats and 650 club seats at the stadium, the sale of naming rights, and financing would make up the difference, Rhoades tells the Chronicle‘s Sam Khan Jr.


Renderings of proposed stadium: Houston Cougars

28 Comment

  • Just do it!

  • What is wrong with the current stadium? Everyone seems to want a new one. They sit unused for 90% of the time. What is the problem?

  • Why do folks need to have “luxury” to sit for 3 hours at a football game?

  • The need the stadium as part of their Tier 1 push. Unfortunately, athletics play a big part in creating a Tier 1 university.

    I just wish the new design incorporated portions of the old stadium kind of like Soldier Field in Chicago. Stepping into that place is like stepping back in time.

  • Tier 1 my ass. Before we even get into the their laughable graduation rates compared to actual Tier 1 schools, how about UH a) prevents students from being abducted at gunpoint from the main thoroughfare on campus and b) keeps the locals from entering dorms and sexually assaulting women in their beds. Too much to ask?

    The parking situation is untenable and crime has escalated on campus. How can anyone in the Houston community support the chancellor’s Tier 1 pipe dream when she can’t even protect her own student, faculty and staff’s safety? $40 million as down payment on a stadium, but no money in the budget for more campus police. Do you think those security cameras and call boxes on campus are all in working order? Think again.

  • Anybody calling the parking situation is “untenable” is nothing more than a lazy butt bitter ex-student.


  • Tier None is an idiot.

    This isn’t just a new stadium. Along with it are a new parking garage with ground floor retail/restaurant space. That breaks ground this summer. It will add over 1500 NEW spots in a prime location.

    Additionally, the new facility will also house over 40,000 square feet of NEW academic space that will be used by the Moores School of Music. This part of the facility will house a new band hall, cheer and dance rooms, a smaller performance/concert hall, and much needed office space that will help the overcrowding at the current Moores Building.

    Finally, this new facility will also house academic rooms for athletes. Student athletes at UH actually graduate at a higher clip than the average UH undergrad just as an fyi…

  • doofus, the “new facility” will include a stadium and all that other stuff? Or will the stadium and academic stuff be separate?

  • doofas, that sounds really nice and would be a great addition to UH, but it troubles me the amount of money UH has been able to raise for a football stadium, while at the same time my local elementary school is facing the prospect of laying off the school nurse, librarian, art teacher and school teachers. Priorities, priorities.

  • A UT alum told me that he heard that the football team raises enough revenue for the school to fund 1/3 of the academic departments at the school. Unfortunately, this is how colleges help fund themselves these days.

  • I’ll preface this post by stating that I’m a UH alum that really doesn’t give a crap about college athletics. I think that it reflects poorly on a society at large that so many people value athletics.

    However…for UH to build their athletics programs is absolutely vital to promoting their brand awareness outside of Houston and being able to shake the old “Cougar High” reputation. Longer-term, athletics programs increase the level of interaction between the institution and its alums, which is helpful for fundraising.

  • I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty hesitant about this whole tier 1 non sense at UH. Renu is bat shit insane for even thinking about constructing a stadium like this, especially when the Texas legislature is cutting almost 20% of their yearly budget. How about using that 40 million to

    1)improve campus safety-tier none has a point, people are getting abducted, sexually assaulted, and robbed on campus

    2)improve the current housing facilities (moody towers anyone?)

    3)attract more qualified students…pretty self explanatory

  • that’s funny..every UH email i get from khator talks about the extensive budget cuts UH is facing…how to be more efficient…tough roads ahead…and on and on…yet she’s buying a $10 million dollar radio station that nobody wants and is building football stadium that nobody cares about.

    go coogs!

  • Robert and Pinto-

    You guys aren’t getting it. This money is being raised SPECIFICALLY for a new stadium. It’s not like they had $40 million on hand and thought, “hey, let’s throw it at a stadium.”

    Additionally, your complaints are TIRED AND OLD. You do realize that over the last two years, UH has opened up over 2,000 NEW rooms on campus, right? There’s a two year old graduate level loft building and a brand new all freshman dorm. Additionally, the Moody Towers will be getting a much needed rehab soon. The dining facility there has already been turned into a “fresh cooking” concept that is getting rave reviews. AND, in the best news of all category, the Cougar Place apartments are in the process of getting razed right now and will be replaced with new housing.

    On the academic side, UH has added new space for the Honors College, MD Anderson Library, a new Cemo Hall, a Social Work Bldg rehab, expansion for the theatre school, architecture school improvements, a new home for PBS and the communications department, a new science bldg, and the school is currently building a massive bioscience/health science facility that will house a free eye clinic through the optometry school. This doesn’t even begin to mention the plans for the old Schlumberger property!

  • doofus-do you have a press release or other info on the building you talked about with more space for the music school, etc? Would love to read about it. Very surprised that hasn’t been publicized.

  • Budget issues aside, it would be nice to see the University work in tandem with the city to attract developers to begin redevelopment of the blocks immediately surrounding the university, especially Scott Street. This would give a much better impression of “ivory towers/academia” than the dilapidated shotgun shacks and derelict panhandling that flanks the campus. I know that it’s being somewhat insular, but the current conditions of the surrounding areas (and the campus street/sidewalk surfaces) don’t really leave too much of a great first impression for residents, parents, visitors, or prospective students.

  • Doofus’ information is correct. Just check out UofH’s website. There is a master plan at work.

    Funding is coming from tons of private sources. Corporations are chipping in to build academic space that will produce grads that they can hire. As mentioned, the money for the stadium is donated particularly from the stadium. UoH isn’t taking money that could be used for other things and spending it on a sports stadium.

    The key to any university (public or private) survival is from their alumni. The alumni is throwing money at this school to make it better. It’s so good, a good handful of Rice U students take classes their now because Rice doesn’t offer the proper course in order to graduate.

    I’m not a UoH grad, but have friends in various industries that are. UoH is not a bad school, but renovating the campus overall (which they are doing if you look into it) will make the campus more appealing to future students.

  • Below is the link the the UoH masterplan. At the bottom of the page is a large list of exhibits that detail the proposed changes.


  • Our complaints are tired and old?

    I must have travelled in a time machine because only last week a woman was sexually assaulted, and someone was abducted.

    How about instead of building that new stadium that we clearly don’t need, maybe improve the quality of UHPD? No offense to fat people but 80% of the officers can’t even see their feet.

    Dining wise the school is absolutely awful. The moody towers dining hall is just putting lip stick on a pig. I bought a meal plan last semester and after enduring day after day, I refused to pay for another semester. UC Satellite and UC is good if you enjoy weave in your food.

    I really enjoy the spirit that Rhenu has but she’s really prioritizing the wrong things.

  • Yes, tired and old.

    You sound like a typical UH student. You want a Yale experience on a Lone Star College budget.


  • Well they’re increasing enrollment to meet budget requirements, making it just that much harder to increase the quality of the student body.

    The neighborhood is dangerous, but that doesn’t have much to do with anything. It will probably get better once the LRT goes through.

    There aren’t that many athletic departments that run a profit overall (probably still in the single digits, but who knows, and not all of them are dependent on the football team as the main source of money). A really good football team can help support the other teams at the school by bringing in money, but anything past that is unrealistic.

    My personal opinion is that money should be spent on academics, and focus on core competencies — people in/around Houston who already know about the place — instead of trying to attract some new type of student who can pay the increased tuition and afford the luxuriuos new housing.

  • Native Houstonian and tired of this crap about danger and crime.If you look at most college campuses there are issues of sexual assault,vandalism and other crimes that go none reported to so call protect the rep of the schools.The area could use some cleanup but you must have a responsible government and community that is willing to help some poor people.Shut your mouth donate some money and lend a hand.

  • I for one think that the development of the new stadium is great for the area, the University and the city as well. Over the last 10 years this city has spent and taxed this county and all visitors for $750,000,000 Texans stadium while the Astrodome rots. $400,000,000 for the Toyota Center, $300,000,000 for Enron Field and now we spending more for the new Dynamo Stadium.
    Yet eveyone can moan and complain if funds are being raised for a modest football stadium to be built in the 3rd ward. None of your tax dollars are being used for the stadium, a simple thank you to Dr Khatour and AD Mack Rhodes is in order.

  • I for one thinks this is a bad idea if uh wants to be in big football conference 40,000 seats is not enough it would have to be at least a 60,000 I know filling that thing would be a problem but I think it would put there name at the top of a couple of bcs conferences

  • What’s funny about the sexual assault is that most of it isn’t because of the community its because of idiot drunk girls going to the wrong parties first years away from daddy. It’s not like crackhead monsters are hiding in the bushes on scott lol. Secondly I prefer scott the way it is because I don’t have to deal with the general pussy whiney population that is scared of the 3rd ward (I wish every visiting football team had a slow procession down scott night before the game, just to keep em honest).

    I think the new stadium plan is a good one, but I think it needs to wait. We’re trying to do too much at once with not enough, and the reasoning to me is pretty simple we’re trying to fit all this in before 2013/2014 when we’ll have some good non conference schools on the schedule. We want our coaches to stay here for a while, they seem to be doin pretty good, but when you look at robertson packing 32000 on numerous occasions, a 40,000 capacity isn’t enough. It’s ridiculous, we need to at least make this thing seat 50,000, or at least make the 40,000 capacity be able to expand to 60,000 at some point in the future. If not, what the hell is the point of this whole mess to begin with? 40,000 seat new stadium is politics!!! = b.s. Just build a new music school or whatever and save the stadium budget for when we can make a real one, not another glorified high school one

  • oh and one more thing, if Rice gets a free stadium from Houston taxpayers, why can’t UH get a break, god I hate those rice numbnuts

  • What’s with the holes in the upper deck? Make the stadium symmetrical. This stadium should be designed with future expansion in mind. Their is no need to create some crazy design.
    And Get-eR-Dun

  • @ joe Rice stadium was built for Rice and UH. Dont know why they put it on Rice’s campus because they still can’t fill it up even with all the people that ever graduated from Rice