Feb. 8, 2013
VICE PRESIDENT FOR INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS MACK RHOADES
On stadium groundbreaking
"It feels terrific. It's a great day, not just for our athletic department, but also for everybody--all of our alumni and our former players. Our athletics department is moving forward in terms of being nationally competitive. We want to regain that prominence that we once all enjoyed 20 years ago. That's our mission, that's our vision. This is a big step."
On the impact of the new stadium
"We really feel that when the stadium is completed this will be one of the nicest facilities in the country. It will be second to none and it will be a great showcase in terms of recruiting prospective student-athletes. It will be a great place in terms of our fans to watch games. It will allow us to certainly taking advantage of that unbelievable downtown skyline behind me. It will have a huge impact."
On where home games will be played in 2013
"We haven't officially announced anything or finalized the agreement. We still have some paperwork to finish before we officially announce it."
On naming of the stadium
"We are still working on this process, but we are showing great progress. We just announced today that John M. O'Quinn's name will stay on the field in that generous five million dollar gift. Fundraising has gone tremendously well and we're on pace. The stadium's timeline right now is great. The budget is well in tact, so the project is going remarkably smooth at this point."
HOUSTON HEAD FOOTBALL COACH Tony Levine
On stadium groundbreaking
"It's a long time coming. You see some adults here with tears in their eyes because they can't believe that the stadium is down and this day has finally arrived. It's something I know fans and alumni have been talking about for a long time. It's something that I've heard about since I got here January 3, 2008 and now it's become reality. We're really excited. It's great for the program, it's great for our school, it's great for our community and it's something everybody will be excited about when 2014 arrives."
On the stadium's role in recruitment
"The stadium has really helped. Everything has generated so much interest and it's helped in recruiting. I think some people recruiting against us weren't quite sure it was going to get done. We brought recruits in the month of January and showed them there is no stadium. We brought them over to Reliant where we anticipate playing and coming back here for their sophomore year--it helped us tremendously."
On Dr. Renu Khator's statement about winning
"That helps recruiting as well. When you're able to go into a young man's home and talk to his family and say that our President supports us along with all of our student-athletes, it means a lot to them. I've been here as long as she has and I've gotten to know her extremely well over the last year. Her support means so much to our program and that helps more than anything."
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON CHANCELLOR DR. RENU KHATOR
On what the new stadium means
"We are on a mission to build a nationally competitive and internationally recognized university. I think athletics is a very important part for our dreams for our future."
On what to expect in 2014
"You're going to see the first game of 2014 in the new stadium. It will be a fabulous stadium, cutting edge and absolutely gorgeous. I invite everyone to attend. Thank you everybody because none of this is possible without the help of the community."