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.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Texans have a great tailgating scene outside the stadium and inside the stadium holds plenty of food options as well. The concessions around the concourse provide all the basic options like nacho grande for $9, and foot-long hot dogs for $7.25 while a regular hot dog will be a little cheaper at $5.75, pretzels and popcorn cost $5 each item. Popcorn lovers will go for the bottomless popcorn bucket for $8.25. You'll also find the usual fare of roasted peanuts, cotton candy, and hamburgers.
NRG Stadium concessions bring in local chain restaurants such as Genghis Grill serving a Genghis Bowl with the choice of Khan Pao Chicken or Dragon Steak served with rice for $12; Papa John's Pizza offers pepperoni or cheese; Berryhill Baja Grill Cantina serves fish and pork taco plates for $12, or a less costly item of hand-rolled tamales at $7.25.
Hamburger lovers can find a variety with Prince's Hamburgers serving a burger for $8.50, or make it a bacon burger for $9. Prince's also serves chicken tenders for $10. If you really like burgers, then try Bernie's Burger Bus; bringing you slightly higher prices than Prince's as the three menu items of The "Principal," "Substitute," or "Cheerleader" cost $14, but you won't be hungry the rest of the day.
Finally, there is Texas BBQ from Bum's Smokehouse. The $8.75 BBQ sandwich, $9.75 chopped BBQ baked potato, $7.75 loaded baked potato or Bums Sausage sandwich for $7.50 are great choices. If you are looking for a lighter meal than the ones listed you'll find Quiznos to-go offering of two salad choices costing between $7 and $9 or the Quiznos sandwich and chips for $8.
NRG Stadium serves Coca-Cola products with a choice of a 20-oz. bottle for the cost of $4.75 or the refillable souvenir cups at $7.50. Dasani bottled water runs $2-$4.25 or 1-liter Smart Water will top out at $6 a bottle.
The 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, and Blue Moon. You'll find Fanning Icehouse, a one-stop shop, located on the concourse, offering premium bottled beer for $12, premium draft at $10.25, wine for $8, and non-alcoholic beer for $5.50. Finally, margaritas, daiquiris, and pina colada's are served for a price of $9.75 small or $13.50 for the large.
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 can be found beginning outside the stadium with the tailgating and the Texans fans have to be considered among the best when it comes to tailgating.
The stadium decor displays the Texans logos as well as wall sized photos of Texans players hanging throughout the stadium. The Bull Pen Pep Band - made up of 45 members - marches outside throughout the tailgating area and then around the lower concourse as they head to their seats in the Bull Pen area in the north end zone.
The sellout streak that the Texans continue to have guarantees a vibrant and energetic atmosphere inside and around the stadium. The combination of a beautiful stadium filled to capacity, and loyal and knowledgeable fans, ensures that the atmosphere will always be top notch. NRG Stadium's atmosphere is definitely one of the best in the NFL.
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 Interstate Loop 610 between Kirby Street and Fannin Street. The 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 just with the immediate neighborhood. The best way is to explore the city for the type of food that you would enjoy. However, recommended is Hugo's, which offers authentic Mexican fare with great margaritas. The restaurant is housed in a 1925 building that was designed and built by Houston's well known architect, Joseph Finger. The restaurant is about six miles from the stadium in Houston's Montrose area.
The 122-game consecutive sellouts, and counting through 2014, easily identifies Texans fans as being one of the best fan bases in the NFL. With the Houston Texans only having been established in 2002 after losing the Houston Oilers to Tennessee, the fans might not be mentioned in the same category nationally as the Packers (est. 1919), Steelers (est. 1933), or Cowboys (est. 1960) fans, but considering the shortened presence of the Texans in the NFL the fans have truly elevated themselves to that same level.
Texans fans are loyal, loud, and die-hard football fans that love their city and team. "We are Texans" signage is proudly displayed around NRG Stadium and the fans echo the slogan during every Texans game.
NRG Park has 10 parking lots that open four hours prior to kickoff and the 11th parking lot, Platinum, is open five hours beforehand. The Platinum parking is a completely reserved spot parking lot. The other 10 parking lots are pre-paid lots that typically sell out for the season. If you have a parking pass for any of the lots, queueing begins 30 minutes prior to the parking 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.
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 parking at the Extended Stay America-Houston-Medical Center Hotel for $20 which is a short walk. The stadium does have public transportation by the Metro Rail. For information on scheduling go to ridemetro.org. There are also Taxis/Uber drop off and pick up locations for the post game ride home or to your hotel.
Once at the stadium, you may find the same challenge in accessing the stadium as I did, as I was amazed to find out that you must possess either a game ticket, or a tailgate guest pass just to walk through the parking lots to soak in the tailgating atmosphere. Tailgate guest passes are available to season ticket holders with a maximum of 4,000 tickets available per game.
Inside the stadium the concourses are wide, and there are plenty of restrooms. However the elevators are overcrowded, the ramps are steep, and the signage to move from the lower to upper concourses are non-existent and make it tough for a first timer visiting the stadium.
Houston Texans tickets can range from $40 in the 600 level to as high as $500 in the lower sections, bringing the average ticket price for the 2014 season to $86.39 a ticket which falls within the upper half of the NFL. However, since the Texans have had 122 consecutive sellouts, finding tickets at those prices is not a reality. Since you'll be searching through a third party ticket source you can expect to pay a minimum of $100 for seats in the 600 level, and naturally, the closer the seats get to the field, the higher the prices will rise. A trip to NRG Stadium and 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 fan base definitely makes it a trip to do at least once for any NFL fan.
NRG Stadium deserves a point for being the pioneer for the NFL's retractable roof stadiums. Although after speaking with fans of these stadiums during my other NFL ventures to Phoenix, Indianapolis, Arlington, and Houston, I learned that the roof isn't opened very often. When it is open it is a sight to behold and it is such a wonderful option to have in a stadium.
One extra point for the ability for NRG Stadium to be a grass field for Texans games while field turf is installed for the college and high school games.
The Houston Texans Cheerleaders earn an extra point not just for their beauty and talent, but their wonderful interaction with the fans on game days, as well as their activity on social media.
The Houston Texans "Bull Pen," made up of the most enthusiastic fans who provide a fiesta-type atmosphere and work to create a better game day atmosphere for everyone are worthy of an extra point. The Bull Pen is encouraged to stand, cheer, chant, sing, and support the team in any contagious manner possible, and sitting alongside the Bull Pen Pep Band makes for a healthy combination of high energy and fortitude in keeping the fans in the game.
The fan base of the two NFL teams in the state of Texas are vastly different, and the two cities are most definitely different, but the two NFL stadiums; NRG Stadium and AT&T Stadium, are certainly on par with one another, as they are two of the best venues in the NFL.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
9295 Main St
Houston, TX 77025
9205 Main St
Houston, TX 77025
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7979 Fannin St
Houston, TX 77054