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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
It has been an on again and off again love affair between the Cougars and Robertson Stadium, but Robertson Stadium is what the Houston Cougars still call home. Built in 1942, the stadium is definitely starting to show its age due to its architecture and limited seating, which are some of the reasons the Cougars never made Robertson Stadium its official home until 1998. Since Robertson Stadium was built, it has hosted and been the home of many teams from the AFL Houston Oilers in the 1960's to the MLS Houston Dynamo today.
With all this said about Robertson Stadium's much needed renovations, don't be fooled, the stadium provides that great college atmosphere and feeling that every college football fan loves.
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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".
Robertson Stadium definitely has plenty of good options when it comes to something to eat or drink. The Cougars offer just about all of the usuals like burgers, hot dogs and chicken tender baskets, as well as popcorn and nachos. Robertson Stadium even offers some kid favorites like sausages on a stick and snow cones for those hot early autumn games.
Coca-Cola products can be had for either $4 for a small or $5 for a large souvenir-sized cup. One thing that most people will love is that, like Rice Stadium its Houston neighbor, Robertson Stadium offers alcohol and has quite a selection. Some selections you will see offered on draft are Shock Top, Ziegenbock, Houston's own St. Arnold's, and a Cougar special called "Coug Brew," which was almost reddish in tint and I found to be decent. Another plus for the Cougars is that they have stadium vendors walking through the stands selling Budweiser, Bud Light and such in the bottle for the fan who would rather not miss the game. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by what the Cougars had to offer and how it was priced.
Robertson Stadium may not be one of the biggest stadiums in college football, due to its max capacity of just over 32,000, but those 32,000 fans can definitely provide a great college football atmosphere. The Cougars have slowly come back into the success seen in the late 80's and early 90's that produced many winning teams and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware.
The University of Houston is in talks to build a new stadium rather than provide more renovations on Robertson Stadium, and I think this will be a major plus. I truly think a new stadium will help welcome the new era of the Cougars as they continue to become a growing force in college football.
Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of options right on campus or near campus except for a variety of fast food joints. I would say your best option is to take the ten minute drive to downtown for any pre or postgame activities. That is, if you don't plan on joining in with the abundant amount of tailgaters. Downtown you will find a variety of options for food, beverage and entertainment. One of my favorites includes the Flying Saucer, which for any beer fan is an absolute gold mine, offering over one hundred and twenty different on tap options.
The Breakfast Klub is also a great option. They offer breakfast all day long and have some tasty dishes like "Katfish & grits" and "wings & waffles."
If you are looking for some additional sports entertainment during the middle of the Coug's season, the Houston Aeros and the Rockets play at the nearby Toyota Center, so you may be able to catch a doubleheader.
Houston is one of the largest cities in the United States and provides plenty of options for things to do and places to eat, so you should have no worries about finding something to pass the time.
Yes...the Cougs have been in and out of the national spotlight over the past couple of decades, but since Kevin Sumlin has taken over, the team has quickly made a rise back to the top of Conference USA and into the spotlight of college football. The fans have also pushed right on with the recent resurgence. The Cougars fans are everything you would expect from a college fanbase. There is everything from older alumni to a rowdy student section, all in support of their beloved team. The Cougars fans may not be overly abundant but they provide a great atmosphere.
Access to the stadium isn't too difficult, but it also isn't cheap. You won't be able to find any free parking real close to the stadium, and your best luck can be found in the $5-$10 parking lots pretty close to the stadium. The walk to the stadium from one of the cash lots isn't too bad, but I'm never a big fan of having to pay to park. Once you get to the stadium walking around is a breeze due to the wide concourses. The bathrooms are all plentiful and were always easily accessible.
Tickets range anywhere from $25-$50, depending on where you want to sit and the importance of the game. Overall, these are pretty decent prices for FBS college football. The food and parking will probably run you around the same price; somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-$30 for a group of two is a good estimate. Not the cheapest venue in college football but with the great atmosphere, great fans and great food options I think it is pretty well worth the money spent.
This is definitely where the University of Houston football experience lacks some of that wow factor. There are no real over the top extras that you will experience or see at Robertson Stadium. The Cougar fans definitely deserve a point for their dedication, and for having one of the coolest chants I've heard. A heavyset man with a cigar hanging out of his mouth called out after every Cougars touchdown, "Whose House?" and the fans would respond back with "Coug's House". This would go on about 2 or 3 minutes and really would get the crowd on its feet.
Another extra point goes to the university and the proactive approach they are taking by researching and planning a bigger football field in the future. The more the Cougars continue to win, the more fans will definitely show up. I really see this university and its football program moving in the right direction.
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