TDECU Stadium Construction FAQs
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What was the purpose of the stadium/arena feasibility study completed in the summer of 2010?
- The Athletics Feasibility and Analysis study was intended to evaluate a variety of facility enhancements in order to arrive at a recommendation that was both prudent financially and offers the best environment for the development of our athletic programs and student-athletes.This effort included market research, financial analysis and revenue proforma, facility programming and concept design and detailed order of magnitude cost modeling.This combination of data sources provided a comprehensive platform for university/athletic officials to review and accept recommendations for the path forward.
- Guiding Principles included but were not limited to:
- National competitiveness and awareness - Houston Athletics is committed to improving its facilities;
- Improve both the perception and reality regarding quality of UH Athletics facilities;
- Elevate recruiting by enhancing the student-athlete experience;
- Provide strong rationale supporting any athletic facility modifications proposed; and
- Develop recommendations which will drive demand, fit a Houston niche and improve the fan experience.
What factors influenced the design?
- The design team studied the historical architectural character of the UH Campus with specific focus on buildings adjacent to the athletics corridor including the Science and Engineering Classroom and Research Center buildings, the Science Teaching Laboratory building and the TDECU Stadium Parking Garage to ensure the new stadium exterior captured similar features to these buildings.
- All exterior facades, brick and metal, utilize material and color palettes consistent with those found in UH's design standards and many of the buildings recently constructed on campus.
- In addition, we wanted TDECU Stadium to have a unique look and character easily differentiated from the majority of other collegiate stadiums throughout the country.
- Other factors contributing to the design of the exterior skin: 1) allowing natural light into the concourse while still protecting fans from the elements; and 2) assurance of ample air flow throughout the concourse and stadium for the comfort of our fans without hindering the performance of student-athletes.
- The TDECU Stadium bowl exterior skin will be a combination of special coated corrugated metal and/or aluminum panels providing long-term durability with minimal maintenance.
Why did we change the directional orientation of the stadium?
- The new East-West orientation provides more fans and our TV audiences a dynamic view of the Houston skyline.
- The east side seats in Robertson Stadium experienced intense sun during day games. We conducted a comprehensive sun and shade study at three different kickoff times in both early and late fall. The study indicated improved shading and comfort for our fans without hindering the ability of our student-athletes. The new orientation attempts to mitigate the impact of the late summer sun on the fan experience while also achieving several other goals:
- The north sideline seats are adjacent to the TDECU Stadium Parking Garage for convenient access;
- The new orientation is congruent with the University's current grid system;
- Creates a more efficient surface parking system; and
- Creates vibrant and relevant interaction with the adjacent academic corridor.
- The new East-West orientation is not unique to the University of Houston. Many FBS football stadiums such as Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Oregon have similar orientations.
What type of field system will be installed?
- The synthetic surface installed at TDECU Stadium is the S5-M manufactured by UBU. S5-M, a Speed Series product, is a slit-film turf blade with a sand/rubber combination for infill.
- This type of surface allows for low maintenance, is cost efficient and is designed to host a multitude of events, including but not limited to, high school football games, band practice, specific UH intramural events, etc.
Where will Cougar Walk (Team Entry) take place?
- Cougar Walk takes place on the east side of TDECU Stadium. The Houston team busses will drop off on Cullen Blvd. and the team will proceed to ICON Gate 2 located on the southeast corner of TDECU Stadium. Cougar Walk takes place approximately two hours prior to kickoff.
Will there be tailgating at TDECU Stadium?
- Just like Robertson Stadium, tailgating is allowed in parking lots adjacent to TDECU Stadium and throughout campus.
- Tailgating is a special component of a college football game. As such, we will do all we can to encourage tailgating around TDECU Stadium and on campus.
- 2014 University of Houston campus tailgating policies can be found here.
- Information on 2014 RV parking and tailgating area can be found here.
- We have worked with the Student Government Association (SGA) to secure the student tailgate area location on Cullen Blvd., on the east end of TDECU Stadium where the student section is located inside as well.
- Shasta Square provides an exciting pregame destination for Houston Football fans. The pregame zone is located on the east end of TDECU Stadium with easy access to the Gate 1 and the Icon Gate, located on the northeast and southeast corners of the stadium, respectively. Full information on Shasta Square can be foundhere.
Will there be pavilions?
- Pavilions were not included in the current stadium budget and future construction will be funded per each pavilion holder. Previous pavilion owners will have the first right of refusal for a new pavilion.
How will TDECU Stadium impact parking?
Total Parking Spaces Adjacent to Robertson Stadium (2010-12) and TDECU Stadium (2014):
- There are 1,467 surface spots in the immediate vicinity as opposed to 2,620 in 2012.
- The TDECU Stadium parking garage opened in September, 2012 adding 2,268 parking spaces.
- There are a total of 3,735 parking spaces in the TDECU Stadium precinct compared to 2,398 spaces in the 2011 season.
- The larger stadium requires a larger footprint thus reducing the number of spaces immediately surrounding TDECU Stadium.
- Full information on parking for the 2014 Houston Football season can be found here.
2010 - 2,148
2011 - 2,398
2012 - 4,888
2014 - 3,735
What kind of unique features and/or seating options will TDECU Stadium have?
- A 12,400-square foot club overlooking the field of play (25 feet above the playing surface) located at the concourse level on the south side of the stadium providing fans with first-class hospitality while enjoying premium drinks and food.
- A secondary club in the form of the Sanders Red & White Hall. Located at TDECU Stadium's northeast corner, the 2,000-square foot tribute area to University of Houston history serves as a gameday club for ticket holders in section 129 and north side loge boxes.
- Twenty-six (26) suites located above the club level (35 feet above the playing surface) from end zone to end zone. Each suite consists of 12 22-inch padded arm chairs (two rows of six) located outside, four (4) inside bar stools and an entertainment area with a high-definition television, solid surface countertops, hand-crafted cabinetry and stainless steel sink and appliances. Suite patrons have access to the club during games.
- Forty-two (42) loge boxes each containing four padded seat (total of 168 seats) and a hi-definition monitor. Twenty-six (26) are located on the south side and 16 on the north side of TDECU Stadium. Southside loge box patrons have access to the south club during games while northside loge boxes have access to the Sanders Red & White Hall. Particular loge boxes can be expanded into eight-seat and 12-seat options.
- Seven hundred and sixty-six (766) armchair style padded clubs seats (22 inches wide) located in the south lower bowl between the 25-yard lines with access to the club during games.
- Additional premium seating - 2,778 armchair seats (20 inches wide) located in both the north bowl (1,186) and the south bowl (1,592) and 1,210 bench backs with the majority located in the lower bowl.
- Four (4) open-air lower bowl party decks with 24 armchairs (20 inches wide). Both the east and west lower bowl end zones contain a party deck with two located on the north lower bowl sideline.
- Two (2) open-air party suites located on the suite level positioned at each end (east and west end) of the suites. Each open-air suite contains 60 padded armchairs (21 inches wide).
- The Bert F. Winston Band Complex (39,089 square feet) that includes Spirit of Houston Band Recital Halls and classroom spaces, Sanders Red & White Hall multi-purpose area (see below) and Houston Athletics Ticket Office.
- The Legends Plaza located at the northeast entrance of TDECU Stadium recognizing the proud tradition of Houston Football.
- Bridges connecting the east side end zone upper concourse to sideline seating on both the north and south sides of TDECU Stadium.
Has ticket pricing been determined for premium and other seating locations?
- Yes, ticket pricing has been determined and a full breakdown of ticket options can be found here
Will there be a donation associated for each seat?
- Yes, a percentage of seats do have a per seat donation.
- Donation amounts/levels were benchmarked using information from similar institutions and Texas schools.
- A per seat donation is extremely critical to the future as we currently compete against schools with larger operating budgets that implement per seat donations.
- Per seat donations will count as Cougar Pride donations as they have in the past. The donations are tax deductible per IRS guidelines.
When can I reserve my seat (s) in the TDECU Stadium?
- Fans can purchase their season tickets, with prices starting as low as $140, here.
What is the budget for TDECU Stadium?
- The total base project cost is approximately $120 million.
How can I donate to TDECU Stadium?
- To make an immediate donation to the stadium, please click here or call the Cougar Pride office at 713-743-GoUH (4684).
- Please note we greatly appreciate all gifts provided at this time and even though the scope of the project (new with 40,000 seats) has been determined, we continue this process.
Will I be able to rent the new club space for an event?
- Yes, the 12,400-square foot multi-purpose club overlooking the field of play (25 feet above playing surface) with views of the Houston downtown skyline is available for events throughout the year with food and beverage service available.
- If you are interested in renting any of the Houston Athletics facilities please contact Beckye Levin at UH Sports & Entertainment - 832-842-3100 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will concessions change?
- With a total of 171 concession points of sale throughout TDECU Stadium (compared to 71 in Robertson Stadium) plus multiple portable concessions, fans will always have an option nearby for concession items.
- Every concession stand has a variety of cooking equipment in order to prodcue a variety of quality items.
- The full service kitchen will cater to suite holders, club patrons and special events throughout the year.
Will beer be sold throughout TDECU Stadium?
- Yes, beer will be sold responsibly throughout TDECU Stadium (as was the case in Robertson Stadium).
- In addition to beer sales, wine & spirits will be available throughout the stadium.
Can the current design accommodate more than 40,000 seats?
- Yes, while TDECU Stadium will originally seat 40,000, it is being designed for a future capacity of 60,000 seats. This includes the strategic placement and installation of foundations in the current phase to accommodate future expansion.
What type of videoboard/scoreboard will TDECU Stadium have?
- State-of-the-art HD-video board located on the west end of TDECU Stadium. Sized at 2,584 square feet (38 feet high, 68 feet wide), the board was designed by Panasonic using Nichia technology.
- A video production room will be housed on the working level of the press box.
Will TDECU Stadium have palm trees?
- No, TDECU Stadium will not include palm trees.
What is the construction timeline?
- Demolition of Robertson Stadium began in early December, 2012, with the official groundbreaking ceremony of TDECU Stadium on Feb. 8, 2013.
- TDECU Stadium opens for its first game at 8 p.m. on August 29, 2014, as Houston takes on UTSA.
- We invite you to the follow the progress on the two webcams located here.
What type of material will be used to construct TDECU Stadium seating below and above ground level?
- The lower bowl consists of concrete poured on grade with a variety of seat types including full chair backs, bench seats with backs and regular bench seats.
- The upper bowl is constructed of precast concrete. A small percentage of the seating consists of bench seats with backs and the majority comprised of regular benches.
Why were ramps and/or escalators not used for access to the second level of TDECU Stadium?
- The following narrative has been authored by PSP and the DLR Group, architects for TDECU Stadium, regarding recent stadium questions from supporters of Houston Athletics. We hope this answers any questions you may have about TDECU Stadium and look forward to you being a part of a sea of red this fall. Go Coogs!
TDECU Stadium is rapidly reaching completion for the start of the 2014 football season. Opening a new stadium comes with great anticipation, excitement and challenges. TDECU Stadium will be a first class facility and a venue that University of Houston Students, Faculty, Administration, Coaches, Student-Athletes and even visiting fans will enjoy.
In designing a highly complex sports facility with the interest of maximizing the investment, we, the architectural design partnership of the Page/DLR Group studied stadiums of relative capacities either recently constructed or enhanced by major renovations. The information generated from that exercise guided the vision of what TDECU Stadium would become.
TDECU Stadium Comparators
- Stanford - 2006 (Major Renovation)
- University of Central Florida - 2007 (New Construction)
- University of Minnesota - 2009 (New Construction)
- University of North Texas - 2011 (New Construction)
- Florida Atlantic University - 2011 (New Construction)
- Florida International University - 2012 (New Construction)
- Texas Christian University - 2012 (Major Renovation)
These stadiums range in size from 23,500 seats to 50,400 seats, which we believe to be reasonable comparisons to TDECU Stadium which has a 40,000 seat layout.
When comparing access from the seating area to public amenities in TDECU Stadium to other collegiate stadiums built in the last 10 years, the longest travel distance, from amenity to the top row seat, these facilities ranged from 80 to 148 vertical steps. TDECU Stadium falls directly in the range at 123 steps in the north bowl and 130 steps in the south upper bowl.
For purposes of this evaluation, we considered only vertical travel distance from the amenity level to the seat level, using the actual number of steps a patron would climb or descend to access the amenity. Any horizontal travel distance adds a variable that skews the comparison. The placement of amenities on TDECU Stadium concourses result in very short horizontal travel distances, and is as good as, or better than the other facilities we compared it against.
Ramps were not a part of the stadium project for two major reasons. First, stairs provide for a much simpler and efficient entrance/exit plan, as the travel distance is traversed 3.5 times faster via stairs. Secondly, ramps require approximately 7.5 times more space than the area needed for installing stairs. In order to accommodate the necessary square footage to add ramps to the project, the footprint of the stadium would have increased significantly, as would the costs, and severely impacted stadium design related to function and amenities.
For those spectators with mobility issues, elevators are available to access any level in the stadium. ADA accessible seating is located throughout the stadium on all levels and provisions have been made for spectators with mobility issues who do not fit the disabled criteria.
The fan experience in TDECU Stadium will be exceptional with spectacular views of the Downtown Houston Skyline from the seating bowl, premium seating options, state-of-the-art video board, Wi-Fi access and more. There are other extraordinary features designed into TDECU Stadium, such as the open and spacious concourses with views to the field, and lower bowl seating accessible from the main concourse which accommodates nearly half of the available seats. Fan amenities such as food service, restrooms and merchandise are ample and well distributed throughout the stadium for ease of access.
Please send any questions to the Director of Athletics e-mail account and we will update this page as stadium construction continues and we receive new inquiries. We thank you for your support.
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