Home General UIL's move to Houston for state championship games proves costly

UIL's move to Houston for state championship games proves costly

Photo via NRG Park

The mistake that forced the University Interscholastic League to move its state championship games to NRG Stadium in Houston has proved to be a costly one.

According to records obtained by the Dallas Morning News, the UIL was charged nearly half a million dollars to use NRG Stadium for the three day event.

SMG World, the property managing firm who operates NRG Stadium among other venues, charged the UIL a staggering $495,000 for using NRG Park. The Park, which is owned and leased by Harris county, houses five total venues, including the no longer in use, eyesore of a structure, the Astrodome.

Dropping half a million to use NRG Stadium may not sound like a lot, but for comparison, Cowboys Stadium L.P. charged the UIL $150,000 to use AT&T Stadium for four days in 2014. AT&T Stadium was selected as the site for the state championships once again in 2015, but the event dates conflicted with the Dallas Cowboys schedule, forcing the UIL to find a new home.

The cost is just one of the countless reasons why Houston may not see another UIL football state championship for a while.

The contingent of fans who are in favor of having a rotation among a handful of cities have limited options at their disposal. The only other stadium that meets the UIL requirements for a state championship is San Antonio’s Alamodome, which is currently undergoing a $43 million renovation that won’t be completed until November 2017. Meanwhile, Houston still faces criticism for lack of attendance of the championship games after the UIL saw a drop of 94,509 in attendance over the three day span, leading to the state championship being a net loss for the league.

Unless the UIL relaxes its standards and requirements for the games (an outdoor venue wouldn’t be the worst thing), AT&T Stadium could easily wind up being a permanent home for the foreseeable future.

Discussions and plans for next year’s title games have already begun, with an announcement likely to come near the end of summer.

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