HOUSTON, TX – Houston lost a big part of its sports history with the demolition of Corbin J. Robertson stadium on the University of Houston campus.
UH is tearing down the historic stadium so it can build a bigger facility, one administrators hope will attract more fans and live up to the expectations of being in the Big East conference.
‘The new stadium, 40,000 actual seats, suites, club seats, all the premium items that you see in today`s stadiums,’ is how Mack Rhodes described it. He`s the VP for Intercollegiate Athletics. Remember when they used to call it Athletics Director?
‘For the athletic department, for our football program specifically, it speaks to an investment in the program,’ he added.
Robertson Stadium was known as Houston Public School Stadium from 1942 until 1958 when it was re-named Jeppeson Stadium.
The Houston Oilers played their first five seasons at Jeppeson, the site of the 1960 AFL title game on New Year`s Day, 1961, which the Oilers won. The university renamed the stadium in 1980 to honor Corbin Robertson, not only for his deep pockets, but also for his deep love of cougar athletics.
In recent years, the stadium also was home to the Houston Dynamo. After the final home game at Robertson in November, legendary coach Bill Yoeman spiked the football one last time, and then it was ‘lights out’ at Robertson.
‘There`s such great memories here,’ said UH president Renu Khator. ‘A lot of Cougars have enjoyed a lot of days, but we are excited and very soon we`ll have the new coming right on the same grounds, and it`s going to be just very exciting.’
Houston hopes to play at Reliant Stadium next year, and plans to be in the new stadium for the 2014 season.