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Championship Games Move to NRG Stadium

Photo by Frank De Leon

hillmanAs speculated for several months, all 2015 Texas state football championship games will be played at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

MyFoxHouston.com cited “sources familiar with the process,” who stated the University Interscholastic League (UIL) had selected Houston over the Alamodome in San Antonio, the only other available option.

However, the UIL refused to confirm or deny the report.  Deputy Executive Director Dr. Jamey Harrison told MyFoxHouston, “As part of the University of Texas we simply can’t comment on things like venue agreements or any decisions until we have a fully executed agreement.”

The move relocates the title games from the Metroplex to the Bayou City.  Since 2010, Arlington’s AT&T Stadium aka Jerry World has hosted the three-day extravaganza.

The 2013 Class 6A Division I championship between Allen and Pearland drew 54,347 fans.  Last year, the 12 title games saw a combined attendance of 260,654, an increase of 11.8 percent from 2013.

Although the UIL held a one-year extension agreement, the National Football League (NFL) prompted the organization’s relocation decision.  The league office scheduled a contest between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets for Saturday, December 19, to be telecast on the NFL Network and informed the UIL the date was set in stone.

“All of us knew we had a one-year option remaining that included the 2015 games,” UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt told KVET.  “Somewhere along the line, there was some miscommunication, and the Cowboys thought we weren’t going to exercise that option.”

The stadium change should please coaches, players, and fans of Houston-area high schools.  Complaints have surfaced over the years that Metroplex teams enjoyed significant benefits by playing the title games near their home turf.

For the future, it remains to be seen whether the UIL opts to rotate championship sites between Arlington, Houston, and San Antonio, or returns them to AT&T Stadium permanently.

“I really would like to get this solidified,” Harrison told Matt Wixon of the Dallas Morning News last May. “I think this is better if we have a destination and we can build that tradition, just like we did here in Austin with the basketball tournament.”

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