About Reliant Stadium
The city of Houston has always been on the cutting edge of stadium development. Houston first introduced the Astrodome, which opened in 1965 as the world’s first dome stadium. Reliant Stadium, the first NFL stadium with a retractable roof, opened for business on August 24, 2002, as the Texans hosted the Miami Dolphins in their first home preseason game.
Ground broke on Reliant Stadium on March 9, 2000. The Stadium, covering 1.9 million square feet, features 44,000 seats on the sideline. There are 8,200 club seats and 187 suites. The suites are the closest to the field in the NFL.
The Super Bowl, the world’s biggest sports spectacle, returned to Houston for the first time in 30 years in February 2004 as Reliant Stadium hosted a memorable Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. The Patriots won 32-29 on Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining before a raucous crowd of 71,525. The event also featured elaborate pregame and halftime shows featuring the likes of Aerosmith, Beyonce, Kid Rock, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Toby Keith and Willie Nelson.
Reliant Stadium has also played host to numerous college football games, including two Houston Bowls, the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game, and the 2006 - 2010 Texas Bowls. The Stadium has also become one of the nation’s leading soccer venues. The U.S. National Soccer Team hosted Mexico in May 2003 in the two teams’ first match since their 2002 World Cup meeting. In August 2006 FC Barcelona was the biggest soccer event in Reliant Stadium, with over 70,000 fans. In 2007 Reliant Stadium will host the East West Shrine game.
With the innovation of the retractable roof, Houston returned to outdoor NFL action in 2002 for the first time since Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in 1974. The roof is made of translucent Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric, and takes 10 minutes to open and close. When opening, the roof splits at the 50-yard line and docks in the end zones. The roof can withstand winds as strong as 140 miles per hour when closed and secured.
The climate-controlled stadium also features a natural grass-playing surface. The grass is grown on eight-foot square trays then transported to the stadium.
Reliant Stadium features an open view of the playing field from the main concourse and on the club level. The main concourse is 40 feet wide, which makes it the largest in the NFL. Each concession stand has multiple televisions enabling fans to stay on top of the action.
Reliant Stadium can also boast a larger than life scoreboard. Following the trend that was started with the Astrodome scoreboard, Reliant Stadium houses two of the largest in the league. Both include out of town scores, down and distance, the game clock and a host of other traits.
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