STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #12
- Location: Houston, TX
- Opened: 2002
- Capacity: 72,220
- Weather: n/a (indoors)
- Games attended: 1
- Last visited: 2016
The city that brought you the first indoor baseball stadium and Astroturf, is also home to the NFL’s first retractable roof stadium. The two-paneled roof takes only 7 minutes to open or close, and helps keep out heat early in the year, cold late in the year, and rain year round.
The place offers nice open concourses with views of the field, a ton of club lounges and bars, and two stupid-huge scoreboards. Plus you can get Killen’s barbecue in the stadium which may be worth a visit right there.
The tailgating in the main parking lot is rated among the very best in the NFL. I’ve never seen more meat smokers at football tailgate in my life. Given the time it takes to properly smoke a brisket, I’m trying to figure when some of these folks arrive for a noon kickoff? We got to the parking lot around 9, and it was already pretty full! And there are more than a few breakfast beers consumed based on the rowdiness of some in the crowd. That notwithstanding, most tailgaters were very friendly and a few invited us to share some of their food.
Texans love football, and the crowd can be boisterous. Surprisingly, many visiting fans show up (I guess Houston is also a bit of a transplant town and allegiances are hard to break).
It’s hard to believe this place is nearly 20 years old. Compared to other stadiums built the same time, it still feels very fresh and current. So enjoy the barbecue and settle into to one the country’s more impressive structures.