The USFL is a growing football league, and with this growth comes expansion. The Houston Gamblers played their inaugural season in Birmingham Alabama with all of the other teams, but this will eventually change. When the move to Houston happens, the Gamblers will need a Stadium to call home, so where will that be? I researched and determined what the 5 best options for a home field in Houston would be for the Gamblers.
#5 Darrell Tully Stadium
Darrell Tully is possibly the coolest high school stadium I have ever seen! For a stadium that was built in 1965, it looks amazing built into the hills beside it. This stadium held NFL practices for the Patriots and Falcons the year they met in the Super Bowl in Houston, so we know that it works for professional usage. The stadium capacity is 13,700, which is reasonable for a spring football league like the USFL. The biggest reasons that keep this stadium lower on my list are the fact that it is a high school stadium, and that there isn't a jumbotron. With a high school stadium, there will definitely be other sporting events held on this field that will make scheduling a mess. In a professional football league, a jumbotron is an absolute essential which has become expected. There is a possibility that the USFL could pay for some upgrades for this HISD field, but that would be extra expense and time that we just don't have. Maybe a suitable practice field for the Gamblers!
#4 NRG Stadium
Houston fans know NRG well, and I am sure most H Town fans would absolutely love to see a spring league call this stadium home. The massive problem with using NRG is the massive amount of seats this stadium has! There are 72,220 seats in NRG which would be almost impossible to fill in the early years of the USFL, even if tickets were free! Next to the seats, this stadium in enclosed. With an enclosed stadium comes air conditioning and lighting. The average monthly AC cost for NRG in the hot months is 550,000 dollars, which means for the one day they play the game, it is over 18,000 dollars to cool. Even with the 700 new solar panels on the stadium, the overhead cost is just too much for a young spring league to bear.
#3 Rice Stadium
Rice University went all out when naming their college football stadium... Rice Stadium. Aside from the unoriginal name, this stadium is actually beautiful. Holding a medium sized 47,000 fans, it is just about the top end of stadium size that could feasibly considered early. The nice part of Rice Stadium is that it is right by downtown Houston, which is always a perk when your team uses the city as its namesake. The stadium is outside, so afternoon games would save a decent amount of money on light and air conditioning costs. A big draw is that Rice stadium is not usually full during Rice football games, so a spring football league may be a welcomed reason to fill the seats.
#2 TDECU Stadium
The University of Houston put itself on the football map when it had the highest scoring offense in its history led by their past coach... Kevin Sumlin. What better place for the USFL team that Sumlin coaches to play than his old stomping grounds where he was successful! TDECU holds a rounded off 40,000 fans, which is a reasonable crowd size for a successful football league. The ever looming red flag for this possible home for my beloved Gamblers is the fact that in 2020, this was the home of the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL. The rival spring league is set to play games in 2023, and are apparently going to reclaim TDECU as their home. While there is still a possibility that the two Houston spring teams could share, it is highly unlikely.
#1 PNC Stadium
Coming in first place in my stadium choices is PNC stadium! Previously known as BBVA Compass stadium, this bad boy holds a respectable 22,039 fans. I feel like that is the perfect size for a league this new. If the Gamblers fill this stadium then it is an absolute success! With half the seats that the previous two options have, it would be twice as easy to sell out, which would look fantastic on television! The Houston Dynamo MLS team calls this stadium home, so the soccer sized field would allow for room for extra seating, wide sidelines, and fun! Silliness aside, the Gamblers could easily work with the Dynamo to schedule games, and the stadium is gorgeous. This is my favorite choice for the Gamblers home field, at least for the first few years. It's a stadium so nice, it's photographed twice in this article.
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