Photos by Eric Moreno, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
Husky Stadium 7502 Fondren Rd Houston, TX 77074
Year Opened: 2014
Houston Baptist Gets Their Dawgs Up at Husky Stadium
Note: In Sept 2022, the university changed its name from Houston Baptist to Houston Christian.
Houston Baptist University (HBU) was founded in the Sharpstown section of Houston, Texas in 1960. As a private, non-secular university the school built itself an impressive resume of accolades and academic achievements. As it grew in stature, so did HBU’s desire to grow in the world of athletics, so in 2014 the Huskies took to the gridiron with the launch of the inaugural season of their football program.
After one independent season, they joined the Southland Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in 2015. Now entering their sixth season, the Huskies have done a tremendous job of growing their fan base and making Husky Stadium a great experience for fans, and a formidable place to play for their opponents.
Food & Beverage 2
Due to its size, there really aren’t many options in terms of concessions at Husky Stadium. There are two main stands, one at end of the bleachers (north end and south end) – your typical stadium food is on the menu at both stands including cheeseburgers, Frito pie, hot dogs, nachos, and sausage wraps. To give you an idea of the affordability of what Husky Stadium has to offer, the most expensive item on the menu is the cheeseburger at $7.
In terms of beverages there is no alcohol for sale – being that this is a Baptist university it makes sense – but there are bottled sodas, bottled water, and sports drinks, and there are also sno cones on the menu for $2 each; during the early part of the season, these are especially popular as Houston is extremely humid well into October.
Something to take note of when making your food purchases at Husky Stadium; hot dogs, sausage wraps, and nachos can all be purchased and picked up at the main concession stands. However, for burgers and sno cones you must purchase a ticket at the regular stands, and then take that ticket to a separate stand under the bleachers where your food will actually be made. This extra step is something you should keep in mind if you want to make a food run during crucial moments in the game.
A word that would best describe Husky Stadium to me is quaint; this isn’t a negative at all, but there are numerous high school football stadiums in the state of Texas that dwarf Husky Stadium; here there is only one set of bleachers, with the home fans and student section on the north end (for the most part) and the visiting fans on the south end.
With the single set of stands, this provides everyone with a nice, clean look at the action on the field, which is always appreciated. There is also a grassy hill area beyond the north end zone that has proven popular for students to hang out and catch the game from. There is a courtyard with an antique street clock on a bricked pavilion out in front of the box office at Husky Stadium. Known as McNair Plaza (and named after the philanthropist owners of the Houston Texans, the late Robert McNair and his wife Janice), this is a prime spot for photos before games.
Overall, Husky Stadium has the look and feel of a nice, small college football program and that is a good thing. For fans with no skin in the game that just want to catch some college football, this is a great place to get that experience.
In keeping with a similar theme from the Atmosphere section of this review, the Sharpstown neighborhood that is home to Houston Baptist feels every bit like the quintessential small college town. Though it is only a few turns away from Interstate 69, Sharpstown feels light years away from the hustle and bustle that epitomizes the city of Houston.
Like any typical small college town there are a lot of businesses catering to the college crowd; chain stores and restaurants abound. However, within the boundaries of Sharpstown proper foodies will be delighted to know that there are Jamaican, Chinese, Japanese, Afghani, Indian, and Ethiopian restaurants to name a few, within a short distance of Husky Stadium.
If you are looking for activities before or after Husky games, the university’s cultural arts center is home to no less than three unique museums: the Dunham Bible Museum, the Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts, and the Museum of Southwest History.
Houston Baptist averages around 2,200 fans per game. While that might not seem like a large number, in a stadium the size of Husky Stadium that can give the appearance of a lot of people in the stands. On my most recent visit I was glad to see a large mix of both current students and older alumni in the stands; for college teams, especially those in their nascent years, I think it’s important to have this mix to grow your fan base.
Those in attendance on this particular night came decked out in the orange, blue, and white of the Huskies and were particularly vociferous all evening long. There was also a good number of tailgaters in the lots in front of the HBU athletics complex before the game.
Husky Stadium is just a few short turns off Southwest Freeway/Interstate 69, about 20 minutes from downtown Houston. Sharpstown isn’t accessible by Houston’s public transportation system, and around the venue you won’t see any of the shuttles that populate the downtown area of Space City. However, Sharpstown is easily navigable and is surprisingly light in terms of the wider area’s infamous traffic.
Parking is ample and, best of all, free for games at Husky Stadium. There is only one main exit onto Fondren Avenue from these lots, which takes you through the university’s iron gates, but despite this limitation you won’t have any problems either entering or exiting the lots at Husky Stadium.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for Husky games are also pretty affordable by college football standards. Single-game tickets cost $25 for reserved seating or $14 for general admission, bleacher seating. With the low cost for concessions and the free parking, this is truly a bargain. They have yet to host a major FBS opponent at Husky Stadium, but there is good football being played in the Southland Conference and you can catch it here for a price that won’t put a hurting on your wallet.
Right off the bat, I have to tell you that I’m a sucker for teams that have a live mascot at their games. Houston Baptist University has their own in a purebred Siberian husky (naturally) named Wakiza or Kiza for short. Kiza III made her debut in time for the 2017 season and can usually be found behind the stands in Kiza’s Corner, where she is available for photo ops with HBU fans.
The school also has a two-legged version of their mascot in the costumed Mingo; he can also be seen patrolling the stands and sidelines during Husky games and is also popular to take photos with.
HBU also boasts all of the other accompaniments that college football has to offer, including their cheerleaders (who throw up the school’s Dawgs Up sign during opposing team’s third downs), the Houston Baptist Elite Dance Team, and the HBU band; all combine to make the game day experience at Husky Stadium something special.
I truly enjoyed my visit to Husky Stadium – it is truthfully nowhere near the level of much larger college football programs in terms of amenities, size, or scope, but that doesn’t diminish what makes it special at all. This is good football stadium and I believe anyone who attends a game here will draw that same conclusion. Husky Stadium and the Sharpstown neighborhood are hidden gems in the city of Houston and will be ones I visit again in the future.