SBD/March 29, 2012/Facilities

College Football Facility Notes: Location For New Univ. Of Houston Stadium Approved

Current projected cost of Houston football stadium is $105M
In Houston, Sam Khan Jr. reported the Univ. of Houston Board of Regents Tuesday "approved the location for the Cougars' new football stadium," finalizing the intention to "place it where Robertson Stadium sits." After reviewing the options, the board "felt confident with sticking with the originally planned site, with plans to begin demolition of Robertson in December." Building on the current site "allows UH quicker completion, with [a] planned opening for the 2014 football season." It also allows for "fewer costs," as the current projected cost of the stadium is $105M, and "less difficulty in expanding the stadium to 50,000 and as much as 60,000 in seating capacity." UH AD Mack Rhoades said that the school has "had discussions with officials at Reliant Stadium about using that as a potential home for the 2013 season" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/28).

SOONER OR LATER: In Tulsa, John Hoover reported the Univ. of Oklahoma Board of Regents is "expected to approve a recommendation for improvements to the football stadium." Phase VI of the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium improvements will "include refurbishment of the eastside suites, the Santee Lounge and the Kerr McGee Stadium Club." Regents are also expected to "approve partial guaranteed maximum construction costs of $950,000." Funding for the project "has been identified, is available and will come from general revenue bond proceeds." Early construction efforts will "begin this spring and be completed during the summer," although the majority of work will begin after the '12 football season and is "expected to be completed before" the '13 season starts (TULSA WORLD, 3/28).

BROWN OUT: The AP reported the Univ. of Cincinnati "won't play any games at Paul Brown Stadium next season, a change in philosophy for a school trying to make itself more attractive to fans and recruits." UC played one game at the 65,000-seat stadium in '10 and two in '11 in an attempt to "give themselves a bigger profile," but the "experiment didn't meet expectations." UC AD Whit Babcock said that the crowds "weren't large enough to justify playing more games there" instead of the 35,000-seat, on-campus Nippert Stadium. Babcock: "Is it better to sell out Nippert at 35,000 and create some demand for tickets, or have 40,000 to 42,000 that looks half-full at Paul Brown?" (AP, 3/28).
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