My visit to TDECU Stadium was well overdue. It is a venue that has been on my list for a few years but my schedule never worked out to make it over there. On this particular Saturday, the timing was right and the matchup was one that intrigued me. The game that I attended was tabbed as, “The Battle of Scott Street” as the two universities playing are separated by a couple blocks. With this venue being high on my list of places to see and the matchup being rare I had to make myself available.
This stadium is the home of the University of Houston cougar football team. It’s located right in the middle of Third Ward on Scott Street and right across the street from Texas Southern University.
Here are my thoughts on TDECU Stadium
The fans were the first thing that stood out to me when I arrived at TDECU Stadium. There was non stop rain for the 6 hours leading up to kickoff that carried over into the game. Based on my travel experience, I expected this to have a huge impact on attendance. Well, I was wrong as the crowd was almost at capacity for this matchup. Once I witnessed the crowd at near capacity, I knew that this would be a good game day experience and I was not disappointed.
The fan base has a lot of chants that they belt off as the band plays certain songs. This is something that I have witnessed at other universities but the band kept them involved as they played from a list of 4 key songs. The Army ROTC cadets are also something that I enjoyed as they performed pushups to match every scoring drive. This was a long night for those guys as the Houston Cougars scored 70 points.
The “Spirit of Houston” Cougar Marching Band is an interesting group. They have a different take on halftime but they play to their audience. They keep the energy high as they play on cue to the tone of the moment. This particular game brought out a different feel as the “Spirit of Houston” Cougar Marching Band merged with the Texas Southern “Ocean of Soul” Marching Band. This is something that you rarely see but with the universities playing for the 2nd time ever and only being seperated by Scott Street it was an added delight for the night.
In my travels, I had not witnessed two opposing bands play together during halftime but with this game being unique I understood the significance. Although this will not happen at every game, I was delighted to see the Mayor of Houston and both school Presidents coming out before halftime to commemorate the night as, “The Battle of Third Ward” and hype of the importance of these two universities playing.
The parking for their games is limited to a few areas that are $20 or cheaper. If you are not willing to pay for parking, then there are a lot of free street parking options. Transportation to and from the games is inexpensive if you are going to a game as well. There is a Metro Bus and Metro Train stop right outside of the stadium that is free with a game ticket. University of Houston also has a deal with Uber that makes rides to and from the stadium free for fans. The concession prices are similar to things I have seen at professional stadiums. They have different concession prices for season ticket holders than non-season ticket holders. The difference is not significant but if you are a season ticket holder then concessions are the cheapest you will find anywhere.
Like typical college football “money” games this one got of hand early. This is not a knock on the venue because a lot of the crowd stayed until the end of the game. The only thing that I could take as a drawback was the concession level pricing that they have at the stadium. This is not something that is uncommon but definitely something that I have not seen at a college venue.
Overall Game Day Experience
I would give TDECU Stadium a 9 out of 10. It’s a very nice stadium that has some great view regardless of seat location. It is a 40,000 seat venue that is easy for fans to navigate. The stadium is in a bowl shape so it is a quick 10 minute walk around with limited interruptions. The ticket pricing is amazing and one of the cheapest that I have witnessed for a FBS school. The parking ranges from inexpensive to free so that helps keep down fan costs. The concessions although not bad does have advantages to the higher paying patrons. The fanbase is active and keeps up the noise while their favorite university is playing. If you are ever in the Houston area during football season this is a venue worth visiting because they will fulfill all of your football and fandom needs.