Univ. Of Houston, Rice Moving Annual Football Game To Reliant Stadium
The Univ. of Houston and Rice Univ. announced yesterday a "two-year agreement to move the annual Bayou Bucket football game off-campus to Reliant Stadium,” according to Joseph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Texans President Jamey Rootes said, “Our hope is for a long, long time, the Bayou Bucket will be right here at Reliant Stadium.” The games “will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Network," and Rice AD Rick Greenspan said that the "exposure should ensure the game is likely to be played on a Saturday night.” Dates and times have yet to be finalized. Greenspan and UH AD Mack Rhoades agreed that “the opportunity for additional revenue and to expand fan bases were factors in the decision to move the game.” Duarte notes under the current setup, the "visiting team in the series does not receive any revenue; by playing at Reliant the next two years both schools are guaranteed an undisclosed payout, which is believed to be at least $500,000” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/1). The matchup at Reliant Stadium is “the first neutral-site game between the city rivals since 2004.” The Bayou Bucket is joining the Stephen F. Austin-Sam Houston State “Battle of the Piney Woods” and Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas “as college football games to be played at Reliant next season” (CHRON.com, 8/31).