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The squeeze to upgrade NRG Stadium commences

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The lure of getting a Super Bowl can be a powerful device for shaking public money out of a city and state’s taxpayer tree. The quest to get another Super Bowl likewise can go a long way toward squeezing the city and state to cough up the cash needed to upgrade the venue.

That process already is beginning in Houston. Super Bowl XXXVIII landed there because the stadium was built. Super Bowl LI came via the normal course of bidding for the game. And now it’s becoming increasingly clear that, to get another Super Bowl, the powers-that-be in Houston will be required to improve a stadium that was deemed to be good enough to host the most recent NFL championship game.

The issue has emerged several times in the Houston Chronicle in the aftermath of Super Bowl LI, and the message emanating from the league to the team to the stadium authority to the public is simple, clear, and predictable. With so much intense competition for each and every Super Bowl, any city that hopes to host the game needs to have a state-of-the-art stadium with the various features that state-of-the-art stadiums possess.

The strategy was utilized most recently in Miami, where South Florida fell out of the rotation until a giant carport was placed around the structure in response to the driving rain that soaked the movers and shakers attending Super Bowl XLI. (Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, rebuffed in his efforts to get public money for the project, eventually paid for it himself.)

New Orleans hasn’t been in the mix for a Super Bowl since hosting the 47th edition of the game. Coincidentally (or not), noise is being made about upgrades to the Superdome.

For Houston, a third opportunity to host the game apparently will require various projects aimed at making the stadium as nice as the nicest stadiums that will be getting upcoming Super Bowls, from Minnesota in Super Bowl LII to Atlanta in Super Bowl LIII to Miami in Super Bowl LIV to L.A. in Super Bowl LV.

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27 Responses to “The squeeze to upgrade NRG Stadium commences”
  1. weepingjebus says: Feb 13, 2017 2:16 PM

    I could see paying for some sort of netting or password protected elevator that prevents an owner from going down onto the field too soon.

  2. bobulated says: Feb 13, 2017 2:22 PM

    Need faster clocks ~ A Falcons fan.

  3. factschecker says: Feb 13, 2017 2:28 PM

    Man I wish I could do that.

    Have the tax payers build me a mansion so I can host a fancy dinner party. Then my dinner party guest request that if I ever want them to visit me in a future, the taxpayers have to put in an Olympic sized swimming pool AND a PGA grade putting green.

    If I could get in on that gig then I wouldn’t have to spend my own money and that would give me a shot at becoming wealthy myself. Where do I sign up?

  4. porkchopmoon says: Feb 13, 2017 2:35 PM

    A story as old as time itself. The GOLDEN RULE.. “He Who Has The Gold, Makes The Rules”…
    Pay up or else..

  5. bayousooner90 says: Feb 13, 2017 2:41 PM

    Screw the NFL… Houston has so many other areas that tax dollars could be used before more improvements to NRG.

  6. sportzfan says: Feb 13, 2017 2:45 PM

    What are these “state of the art” thingamabobs the NFL wants?

  7. wib22 says: Feb 13, 2017 2:51 PM

    Can’t afford upgrades when the heist* is making 17 mil next year.

  8. mmack66 says: Feb 13, 2017 2:59 PM

    A trap door and smoke machine in the Lombardi Trophy presentation stage is probably in the works for all upcoming Super Bowl venues as well.

    Roger is exiting the stage Wicked Witch style next time.

  9. leatherface2012 says: Feb 13, 2017 3:19 PM

    WELL ITS 15 YEARS OLD.. I say demolish it and move next door to the eight wonder of the world!!! the astrodome!!

  10. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Feb 13, 2017 3:37 PM

    And once again, the local government will blame the teams for asking, instead of blaming themselves for not being able to say no.

  11. davedsone says: Feb 13, 2017 3:44 PM

    The league better stop this kind of shake down or they will find themselves in bigger trouble than they are now. That’s not O.Co you are looking at, it’s only 10-15 years old. People have to pay for that crap.

  12. daltonsdumptruck says: Feb 13, 2017 3:47 PM

    They need to host the Super Bowl at The Ralph, every year.

  13. mmack66 says: Feb 13, 2017 3:49 PM

    sportzfan says:
    Feb 13, 2017 2:45 PM

    What are these “state of the art” thingamabobs the NFL wants?

    White noise generators that cancel out boos, for one.

  14. mrbigass says: Feb 13, 2017 3:52 PM

    You mean the fourth opportunity? Rice Stadium was the first one with two at NRG….

  15. monkeesfan says: Feb 13, 2017 4:03 PM

    Bob McNair will have to do the right thing and spend his own money – the league is now seeing with the Vegas collapse and the resistance to the Chargers leaving San Diego that the public money train is dead.

  16. laukkanen5 says: Feb 13, 2017 4:04 PM

    cheaper than hosting the Olympics…Brazil is broke, can’t pay teachers, etc…crime on rise….12 billion doesn’t get u much these days

  17. bosb88 says: Feb 13, 2017 4:07 PM

    So it will be a never ending cycle for NFL teams if they want to host the Super Bowl Minnesota’s stadium is brand new and will host the game next year. Come 2027 the NFL will be suggesting they spend millions to make upgrades so they can host again. What a joke.

  18. realfootballfan says: Feb 13, 2017 4:08 PM

    Time for these cities to start standing up for their citizens. Isn’t Bob McNair a billionaire? Unless he’s planning on sharing the concessions that he makes on the stadium with the locals in forms of tax refunds or something, tell him to kick rocks and do it himself like they told Stephen Ross in Miami. That this garbage is still allowed to go on is sickening.

  19. zoneread510 says: Feb 13, 2017 4:10 PM

    I think I would live in an NFL stadium. However, if I was an owner of a team, I could probably build an impressive house, so it wouldn’t matter.

  20. windham9 says: Feb 13, 2017 4:22 PM

    Dallas will get a 2nd SB before Houston gets a 3rd.

    New Orleans won’t get another without a new facility.

  21. granadafan says: Feb 13, 2017 4:59 PM

    This is the new NFL. Teams that “build” new stadiums or renovate get Super Bowls. This is part of the shakedown and incentive to rebuild “old” stadiums. What a crock of caca. I really hope the Houston taxpayers tell the NFL and McNair to pound sand. We’ll see. Texans hate giving welfare for the poor and hungry. Will they give welfare to a multi billionaire?

  22. purpleguy says: Feb 13, 2017 5:17 PM

    There should just be a Florida/New Orleans/New LA or Vegas stadium rotation anyhow — and this is coming from a fan of a team whose stadium is hosting the next SB.

  23. barndoggle says: Feb 13, 2017 5:28 PM

    The Superdome already got LEDs last year. You can bet that was expensive. Visitors heading thru the Southgate at NRG will get an eyeful of the Astrodome substation which is the main reason it was never power washed. Real shame since Houston is the home of the largest union in the world the IBEW.

  24. youknowiknowitall says: Feb 13, 2017 5:34 PM

    Houston sucks. I wouldn’t choose to ever go there again.

  25. murphyslaw40 says: Feb 13, 2017 6:23 PM

    If you want to upgrade the toilet seats in the luxury suites from gold to platinum, do it on YOUR dime.

  26. mackcarrington says: Feb 13, 2017 6:51 PM

    Everyone in Houston is flush with oil money. It shouldn’t be any problem in a city as rich as Houston is.

  27. mototax says: Feb 13, 2017 8:09 PM

    windham9 says:
    Feb 13, 2017 4:22 PM
    Dallas will get a 2nd SB before Houston gets a 3rd.
    The problem with Dallas is the stadium NOT being in Dallas. It’s 26 miles away in some awful traffic. Arlington doesn’t offer much in quality night life.

    Houston’s SB Experience is within a few minutes of NRG plus they have lite rail, nearby high-end shopping and entertainment.

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