HOUSTON (Reliant Stadium)

 

  • GAME DAY:  October 21, 2012
  • OPPONENT:  Baltimore Ravens
  • SCORE: Texans 43, Ravens 13
  • CAPACITY/ATTENDANCE:  71,054/71,708
  • THE TRIP:  Traveled to Texas to visit family and attend the Texas A&M/LSU game that Saturday in College Station.
  • IMPRESSIONS:  After growing up watching football and baseball in the Astrodome, I developed a strong bias against domed stadiums, prefering natural grass and exposure to the weather over dreary artificial turf and, back in the day, smoked-fill domes.  After attending games in the Superdome and Reliant Stadium this year, my opinion has reversed completely (notwithstanding the Superdome's horrible-looking plastic field).  Although Reliant Stadium has a retractable roof, ownership almost always closes the roof in order to generate crowd noise to favor the home team.  The noise level in domes is noticeably more intense and adds to the game atmosphere.  Aside from the ass-hat sitting in front of us who refused to sit down while the Texans played defense, denying my father of view during much of the game, the crowd was very friendly and enthiastic.  The stadium itself is beautiful - spacious, clean, excellent concessions, escalators to the upper level, well-designed glass and steel.  Texans fans were passionate and most stayed in their seats, even after the home team opened an insurmountable lead in the first half.  Definitely one of my favorite NFL stadiums.  I'd heard parking was a nightmare but, compared to Fedex Field anyway, found it very efficient.
  • WE LOVED:  Air conditioning!  A great game atmosphere in a beautiful stadium.
  • TRAVEL TIP:  Eat at Armadillo Palace.  Stay at the Omni Houston Hotel (the Ravens team happened to be staying in our hotel).