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NRG Stadium

Houston, TX

Home of the Houston Texans

4.4

4.2

NRG Stadium (map it)
One Reliant Park
Houston, TX 77054


Houston Texans website

NRG Stadium website

Year Opened: 2002

Capacity: 71,795

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Houston Texans Football

NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) is located in Houston, Texas. The stadium is part of the NRG Park complex, which includes Carruth Plaza, NRG Stadium, NRG Center, NRG Arena, and the NRG Astrodome, which was nicknamed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” upon its opening in 1965.

NRG Stadium, like its neighbor the NRG Astrodome, is the first of its kind. NRG Stadium became the NFL's first retractable roof stadium on August 24, 2002, when the Miami Dolphins played the Houston Texans. NRG Stadium has a seating capacity of 71,795, and besides being home to the NFL's Houston Texans, the stadium is also home to the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, SWAC Championship game, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

NRG Stadium has also hosted numerous other events over the years. These events include concerts, basketball games, soccer matches, and high school football games; most recently the stadium hosted the 2016 NCAA Final Four. NRG Stadium has also hosted an NFL Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, and will again be the site for the NFL's biggest game on February 5, 2017, for Super Bowl LI.

4.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

The Texans fans have a great tailgating scene outside the stadium, however, the variety of food and beverages that are offered inside the stadium is the size of Texas. This season only improved for Texans fans as Aramark, the food service contractor for NRG Stadium, made a $15M renovation and upgrade to improve the game day food and beverage area of the stadium. The upgrades on levels 100, 300, and 500 added club-themed bars, new induction cooktops, communal tables in suites, an in-seat ordering phone app on the club level, 16 portable food carts, and new condiment carts. NRG Stadium also has two new smokers for all the BBQ lovers eating at Killen's BBQ and Holmes Smokehouse.

The concessions around the concourse provide all the basic options, like nachos grande for $9.25, foot-long hot dogs for $7.50, regular hot dogs a little cheaper at $5.75, and pretzels or popcorn for $5. Popcorn lovers may instead choose the bottomless popcorn bucket for $8.75. You'll also find typical fare such as roasted peanuts, cotton candy, and burgers.

Besides the regular stands, NRG Stadium concessions also brings in local chain restaurants such as Genghis Grill, offering a Genghis Bowl with your choice of Khan Pao Chicken or Dragon Steak, served with rice for $12. In addition, there is Papa John's Pizza offering pepperoni or cheese pizza and a few other items, as well as Berryhill Baja Grill Cantina serving fish and pork taco plates, or hand-rolled tamales; there is even a Quiznos for smaller meals.

Besides the above, burger fans can find a variety, with Prince's Hamburgers offering one for $9.25, or make it a bacon burger for $9.50; Prince's also serves chicken tenders for $10.25. There is also Texas BBQ from Killen's BBQ, including the fan favorites of brisket, turkey, and pulled pork sandwiches for $14.75. Another BBQ option is Holmes Smokehouse, which offers a $9.25 BBQ sandwich, $10.25 chopped BBQ baked potato, $8 loaded baked potato, or sausage sandwich for $7.50, all of which are great choices.

In terms of beverages, NRG Stadium serves Coca-Cola products with a choice of a 20oz bottle for $5, or the refillable souvenir cups at $8; there are refilling stations for self-served refills. You can also get bottled water; Dasani runs $2 to $4.25, and a 1-liter bottle of Smartwater will top out at $6.25.

Alcoholic beverages are plentiful as well. The choices cover a wide variety of beers, such as Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller, Michelob Ultra, Dos Equis, Fat Tire, Killian's, Saint Arnold, and Blue Moon; a regular beer will cost $5. There are plenty of different beer vendors around the concourse, or other alcohol concessions like Kirby or Fannin Icehouse, a one-stop shop offering premium bottled beer for $12, premium draft at $10.75, wine for $8, and non-alcoholic beer for $5.50. You can also find margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas at $10 for the smaller size and $14 for the large.

All in all, you are guaranteed to find something to your liking here, as NRG Stadium provides one of the best food and beverage services in the NFL; interestingly, all the menus even provide calorie counts for fans. The only problem is that top concessions at sporting events means top dollar being paid, but Houston has so many great restaurants that it would be better to save your dollar and visit the local eateries instead.

Atmosphere    5

The Texans provide a great atmosphere, but considering they play in the largest city in a state that breathes football, you would be hard-pressed to expect anything less. Like most game days, the atmosphere begins outside the stadium with the tailgating, and Texans fans have to be considered among the best when it comes to that. There are also photo opportunities for fans, such as the large letters outside spelling T E _ A N S, giving fans the chance to complete the word "TEXANS" by forming the "X" with their body. In addition, there is a photo frame, big enough for fans to stand up in, to commemorate their trip to NRG Stadium. Furthermore, the stadium keeps up with modern times by offering 12 different cell phone charging stations, dotted all around the venue. There is also an enhanced Wi-Fi system for fans, so they can connect with social media and other sites without using their own data plans.

The stadium decor includes Texans logos throughout the facility, as well as wall-sized photos of Texans players. There are also numerous live bands playing in the different club areas, such as The Cantina, Bud Light Plaza, or in the Fanzone. Also, check the Houston Texans website for the game day line-up of events, because beside the live entertainment, there are also extras like the Houston Texans cheerleaders signing autographs before the game.

The entrance of Toro means game time is approaching, and game day becomes a reality when the mascot rides out onto the field, with pyrotechnics shooting off, followed by the Houston Texans players, igniting the Texans fans into loud cheers and roars. Like other NFL teams, the Texans often have themes for games, such as Hispanic Heritage Month, breast cancer awareness, honoring the military, Halloween, or Christmas, and the related activities during pregame or at halftime adds to and changes each game's atmosphere. However, what doesn't change is the constant of 70,000+ Texans fans bringing a vibrant and energetic atmosphere inside and around the stadium. No matter which Texans game you attend, the mascot Toro and the Houston Texans cheerleaders, along with the combination of a beautiful stadium and loyal, knowledgeable fans, ensures that the atmosphere will always be top notch. NRG Stadium's atmosphere is definitely one of the best in the NFL. See the video below to watch the Texans coming onto the field:

Neighborhood    4

The city of Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. NRG Stadium is about eight miles southwest of downtown Houston, within the Inner Loop of the southern portion of I-610, between Kirby Street and Fannin Street. This area is known as the Houston Medical District, and is near the Houston Zoo and Rice University.

There are a few places to eat around NRG Park, but with size of the city of Houston, you don't have to settle for just the immediate neighborhood. The best thing to do is to explore the city for the type of food that you would enjoy. However, strongly recommended is Hugo's, which offers authentic Mexican fare with great margaritas; this restaurant is housed in a building that was designed and built in 1925 by Houston's well known architect, Joseph Finger. Hugo's is about six miles from the stadium, in Houston's Montrose area.

Fans    5

Houston Texans fans continue to rank in the NFL's top ten for attendance, easily identifying them as being one of the best fan bases in the NFL. Texans fans are loyal, loud, and diehard football fans that love their city and team. "We are Texans" signage is proudly displayed all around NRG Stadium, and the fans echo this slogan during every Texans game.

The most diehard of the Texans fans sit in the "Bull Pen" area of NRG Stadium, located in the north end zone. Fans in the Bull Pen have started many traditions over the years, and encourage all fans to participate in the following: shouting Texans players' last names during team introductions, cheering "Houston...Texans!" after player introductions, holding up giant Texans jerseys while the visiting team's players are announced, turning their backs on the opposing team after they score, or gathering as a group for tailgating in the northwest corner of the Platinum Lot at the "Blue Crew" tailgate.

Access    3

There is no cash parking available at NRG Stadium during Houston Texans home games. All parking lots around the venue are pre-paid, and sell out quickly for the season. However, if you have a parking pass in one of the 10 NRG Stadium pre-paid lots, they open four hours prior to kickoff, with the 11th parking lot, Platinum, opening five hours beforehand. If you have a parking pass for any of the lots, queueing begins 30 minutes prior to the gates opening, otherwise you are subject to a citation for obstructing a roadway. Handicap/ADA parking is available, but you will need to have a pre-purchased parking pass. Alternatively, fans may be dropped off or picked up just outside of gate #9 at the Westridge intersection, or at gate #10 at the McNee intersection.

The best way to access the reserved parking in the parking lots around NRG Stadium for a Texans game would be through a secondary marketplace. However, there is other parking nearby, for example at the Extended Stay America-Houston Medical Center Hotel; the cost is $20 and only a short walk from NRG Stadium. The venue does have public transportation via the Metro Rail; for information on schedules you can visit ridemetro.org. Alternatively, taxi/Uber locations can be found in the northeast corner of the green parking lot. The whole parking situation is very frustrating for out-of-town visitors, so plan ahead and use the public transportation available, such as taxis/Uber, hotel shuttles where applicable, or ride the metro.

As you approach NRG Park (the larger complex surrounding NRG Stadium), you may find a challenge in accessing the stadium if you aren't carrying your game ticket. Because of the large number of fans, it is Houston Texans policy that, on football game days, you cannot even enter the park itself unless you have a game ticket or tailgate guest ticket. NRG Stadium also has a clear bag policy; in accordance with the NFL, bags must be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC, and not exceed 12" x 6" x 12", or be a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar). For a complete list of FAQ's regarding the Houston Texans game day policies, please click this link.

Once you get inside NRG Stadium, the concourses are wide and there are plenty of restrooms. However, the elevators are overcrowded, the ramps are steep, and the signage telling you how to get from the lower concourse to the upper concourse is non-existent, making it tough for a first-timer visiting the stadium.

Return on Investment    4

Houston Texans tickets range from $40 in the 600 level to as high as $500 in the lower sections; the average ticket price for the 2016 season was raised 5.9% to $97.32 per ticket. However, the rise in prices hasn't kept the team from selling out the stadium; for the 2016 season, average attendance was 71,658, ranking in the top 10 of the NFL.

Because of this fan base's love for the Texans, finding tickets for face value is not a reality. Buying from a third-party ticket source raises the average price for tickets to about $100 for seats in the 600 level, and naturally the closer the seats get to the field the higher the prices rise.

A trip to NRG Stadium for a Texans game can be pricey, but seeing this wonderful building, the amazing tailgating, the beautiful Houston Texans cheerleaders, and the incredible spirit of the Houston Texans fans definitely makes it a trip for any NFL fan to make at least once.

Extras    5

NRG Stadium is the pioneer for NFL venues with retractable roofs. Although the roof isn't opened very often, when it is open it is a sight to behold, and is a wonderful option to have in a stadium. In addition, the Houston Texans Bull Pen, made up of enthusiastic fans, provides a fiesta-type atmosphere, and works to create a better game day atmosphere for everyone. The team's mascot Toro also makes appearances throughout the game, encouraging fans to stand, cheer, chant, sing, and support the team in as contagious a manner as possible.

The Bull Pen Pep Band also makes for a healthy combination of high energy and fortitude in keeping the fans in the game, however, it is tough to attend a Texans game and not notice the Houston Texans cheerleaders. These talented, professional women are not only beautiful, but their wonderful interactions with the fans on game day, and their active participation in social media, provides Texans fans with an extra that other teams just don't offer.

Final Thoughts

The popularity of football in the state of Texas is well-documented via stories and movies of Texas high school football, and the football craze here continues with college football. However, the Houston Texans are the top level, and NRG Stadium is one of the best venues in the NFL, and a must visit for any football fan. If you make the trip to see a Houston Texans game, then you will understand why football in Texas offers the best football experience in the country.

Exiting Reliant

The exits at Reliant are grossly under designed. I am very surprised that someone has not been seriously hurt after a game or rodeo performance. We wait until most of the crowd is gone before we try to use the ramps or the escalators.

by LonghornMom | Jul 23, 2011 06:59 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Unleash the Beast

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Reliant Stadium was one of the first of its kind and is what many newly built NFL stadiums like Cowboys Stadium and MetLife Stadium have used as a blueprint. Reliant Stadium opened in 2002 and is the home of the Houston Texans. Reliant Stadium has the capacity to hold 71,500 and was the host of Super Bowl XXXVII. The total square footage of Reliant amasses to a tad less than two million square feet with 97,000 of that being natural grass surface. Even though the Texans have only been around since 2002, they have a great group of fans that fill Reliant every game day and are known to be one of the rowdiest crowds throughout the league. Texan fans are not only some of the best fans in the NFL, but also are some of the best tailgaters who can be seen outside every home game hours before game time.

In the spring of 2014, Reliant Stadium was renamed NRG Stadium.

Going Big at Reliant Stadium

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Houston's Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans, is certainly no exception. One of the first things you notice about Reliant is the sheer size of the stadium. Sitting next to the Astro Dome, the former 8th Wonder of the World, Reliant looks modern, majestic and flat out enormous.

Another impressive feature about Reliant stadium is the tailgating in the parking lots. Forbes Magazine recently anointed Houston as the top tailgating city in the country. With Texas' strong BBQ and Tex-Mex heritage, walking through the parking lot can do wonders for a person's senses of taste and smell. The good weather in Houston during football season also encourages fans to arrive early and linger in the parking lot before the game.

Texans

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

Kind of love sports in Houston. I root for the Texans mostly because this city deserves to have an NFL franchise. Let's hope this is the year they get over the hump.

10 years after opening, still one of the 2 best NFL stadiums

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

The state of Texas has the 2 best NFL stadiums, and Reliant has a grass field. Football is king in Texas, and the fans make this experience the best. I would not give the neighborhood a 5 because it is located in the Astrodome parking lot and not walking distance from anything. It is adjacent to the 610 freeway and easy to get there.

This stadium was responsible for the city getting the expansion Texans, after losing the Oilers. LA didn't have their stadium plan secure, so they lost the expansion bid. The future of the Texans looks bright for years to come, with this outstanding stadium and their improved play on the field.

Overall Great Venue!

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

I have been to Reliant Stadium several times for Texans games, the Battle of the Piney Woods (Sam Houston St vs SFA), and the Houston Rodeo. The atmosphere is truly one of the best in the NFL, if not the best. The stadium itself is beautiful, and the fans are fantastic. Although the stadium isn't as big and fancy, Reliant far surpasses Cowboys Stadium in the atmosphere and fan dedication category. If you are looking for a top notch football experience, come to Reliant Stadium! Go Texans!

Reliant on Reputation

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Having been to nearly every stadium in the league now, I found little special here at Reliant. The access is really poor, with extremely crowded escalators both before and after the game. Parking also seems to be a nightmare, although I stayed nearby. There are even restricted areas for pedestrians without tickets, something I have never seen, which prevents you from walking around the outside of the stadium.

The team is struggling and that affects the atmosphere a bit, even with a good team visiting. There is a lot of loud music during breaks which makes conversation difficult.

There are sculptures of bulls at each entrance which remind you that you are in Texas, but not a lot else. The franchise is still young and has to develop some history to celebrate, there are now two AFC South banners.

Overall, I found this to be an average venue that needs to upgrade its access policies to allow fans to move around the exterior before the game.

We are Texans

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) is part of the NRG Park complex located in Houston, Texas, which includes Carruth Plaza, NRG Stadium, NRG Center, NRG Arena, and NRG Astrodome – nicknamed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” upon its opening in 1965.

NRG Stadium, like its neighbor the Astrodome, is the first of its kind. NRG Stadium became the NFL’s first retractable roof stadium on August 24, 2002, when the Miami Dolphins played the Houston Texans. NRG Stadium has a seating capacity of 71,054 and is currently the home of NFL’s Houston Texans, the NCAA Texas Bowl, and the Houston Livestock and Rodeo.

NRG Stadium was the host for Super Bowl XXXVIII and will again host in 2017 for Super Bowl LI.

Impressive Venue

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

This is an impressive venue. Wide concourses, bathrooms and concession areas "for days" etc. A place Houstonians should be proud of. On par with Lucas Oil Stadium in my opinion outside of the neighborhood.

Makes me wonder what would happen if/when the Astrodome comes down. Would be a nice spot for a fun area.

Good transit to and from as well. At the playoff game I was at on 1/9/2016, fans were offered free metro rail rides to and from the game.

Share your thoughts about NRG Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Hugo's  (map it!)

1600 Westheimer Rd

Houston, TX 77006

(713) 524-7744

http://hugosrestaurant.net/

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium  (map it!)

705 Main St

Houston, TX 77002

(713) 228-9472

http://www.beerknurd.com/locations/houston-flying-saucer

Mama's Oven  (map it!)

9295 Main St

Houston, TX 77025

(713) 661-3656

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mamas-oven-houston

Ruchi's El Ricon De Mexico  (map it!)

3202 S Loop West

Houston, TX 77025

(713) 667-3131

Baytown Seafood  (map it!)

9205 Main St

Houston, TX 77025

(713) 666-7070

http://www.yelp.com/biz/baytown-seafood-restaurant-houston

Local Entertainment

Houston Zoo  (map it!)

6200 Hermann Park Dr

Houston, TX 77030

(713) 533-6500

http://www.houstonzoo.org/

Lodging

Extended Stay America-Houston Medical Center Hotel  (map it!)

7979 Fannin St

Houston, TX 77054

(713) 797-0000

http://www.extendedstayamerica.com/hotels/tx/houston/med-ctr-reliant-pk-fannin-st

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