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Volume 21 No. 1
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Reliant owner wants new stadium name

Reliant Stadium could have a new name by the time Super Bowl LI arrives in Houston in 2017.

NRG Energy, which bought Reliant Energy in 2009, merged with GenOn Energy in 2012 and was integral to the local push to bring the Super Bowl back to Houston, now wants to change the signage on the Houston Texans’ stadium, the company confirmed last week.

NRG Energy, which bought Reliant Energy in 2009, wants the NRG brand on the Houston Texans’ home.
NRG, which has dual headquarters in Houston and New Jersey, is requesting authorization from the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. to change the name of Reliant Park (which includes the stadium property) to NRG Park and Reliant Stadium to NRG Stadium.

The name change is on the agenda of the next meeting of the HCSCC, the county agency that runs the county-owned park along with the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“We are hopeful that the HCSCC votes to approve the change during its board meeting on March 19, and we look forward to continuing our support of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Houston Texans and all of the park’s events and activities,” NRG and Reliant said in a statement.

Reliant announced the naming rights to the stadium and other properties at Reliant Park in 2000 for $310 million. At the time, it was the most lucrative sports naming-rights deal in history.

The pact now ranks among stadium naming-rights deals behind agreements subsequently signed for Citi Field, MetLife Stadium and the proposed Farmers Field in Los Angeles.

Within Texas, the Dallas Cowboys’ deal for AT&T Stadium also has been reportedly valued at between $17 million and $19 million per year, compared to the $10 million average annual value for the Houston deal.

Houston was selected to host the 2017 Super Bowl last year. The city last hosted the game in 2004.

Mark Yost writes for the Houston Business Journal, an affiliated publication.