Will The Texans Ever Again Open The Roof?

Categories: Football, Sports

Texans_helmet.jpg
Why won't the Texans open the roof?
The people of Houston and of Harris County paid a lot of money to put a retractable roof on top of Reliant Stadium. Nobody can quantify the amount of money spent, but the roof is supposed to have increased the cost of the stadium by nearly 50-percent. So when the Texans refuse to open the roof on those few beautiful fall days that the city can actually get, the question has to be: why?

The Houston Chronicle's outstanding science reporter, Eric Berger, attempted to answer that question yesterday (warning: it's behind the paywall). He debunked the so-called weather theory, noting that the Texans have pretty much ignored their own policy for when the roof should open, namely on those days when the temperature is between 50-80 degrees and there is no threat of rain. Berger notes that in 22 of the 46 games where the roof has been closed, the temperature was between 50 and 80 and there was no rain.

So with that question addressed, the question becomes those of why isn't the roof opened under the stated conditions? Why was the money wasted on a retractable roof that doesn't retract? And since the retractable roof was demanded by the Texans, is there any way of getting Bob McNair to refund the city and county the money used to build that roof?

The Texans claim they keep the roof closed because of fan complaints. And it can be agreed that the Texans made mistakes in the past with the roof, especially during that infamous Pittsburgh game back in 2005 which resulted in fans suffering from heat stroke and Dom Caper's attempt to gain a competitive advantage over the Steelers fail in a big, big way.

But the 50-80 degree policy was drafted as a result of that Pittsburgh game, so once again, what's the deal? If the Texas Bowl can be played with an open roof on an overcast day with the temp in the 50s, why can't the Texans play an open roof game under ideal weather conditions?

If it is an issue with the fans, then what does it say about Houston Texans fans? Nobody's asking for the roof to be open during early September games when the heat index is in the 100s, but there's no excuse for the fans to whine when the temp is in the 70s. It also needs to be noted that fans in Miami and Tampa Bay seem to be able to withstand outdoor football games in August and September, and that the stadiums are always packed with screaming fans in Denver, Chicago, and Green Bay even when there's a blizzard. Even the Astros have gotten into the habit of keeping the roof open for games throughout most of May, when the temp is starting to get hot and uncomfortable.

Berger also discusses the supposed competitive advantage that comes from keeping the roof closed, noting that the roof has been closed 92-percent of the time since the Texans started actually winning football games - it has not been open for a Texans since a game against Jacksonville in November of 2011. But the Seahawks' stadium in Seattle is reportedly louder, decibel-wise during game, and there's no roof on that thing. So the whole closed roof keeping the place louder doesn't really hold up.

This wouldn't be a big deal but for the costs involved. The only reason there's a retractable roof is the Texans. The Rodeo didn't ask for it, and doesn't need it. No other event in the stadium requires the use of a roof that can open and shut. So it's all just a ton of money that was wasted - as Gerber notes in his story, Bob McNair only paid about $50 million of the $449 million cost. Thus there's just no reason to keep the roof shut when the weather conditions are ideal and fall within the guidelines established by the Texans.

So if it is the fans, if the fans really are whining about sitting outdoors on cool November afternoons, then it has to be asked just what kind of fans it is that the Texans have? Football fans throughout the United States put up with worse, more extreme weather conditions on an ongoing basis, yet those stadiums are continuously packed. Hell, if Astros fans can make it through an Astros game with an open Minute Maid Park roof, then surely Texans fans can sit in the sunlight in October.

But nothing's going to change. The team's weather policy will probably continue to be ignored. The roof will continue to remain closed on glorious Sunday afternoon's in October, and there's nothing that will get back the money spent on a retractable roof requested by the Texans that the Texans refuse to open. Though it is going to be curious to see if it's opened up for any of the UH football games to be played there this season.


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35 comments
Ethy
Ethy

That roof should have been open last night!!!!


Linda Black
Linda Black

i sure hope it's open for some UH cougar football this fall!!

Jermaine Hill
Jermaine Hill

the 60 - 80 rule works fine for me....60 degrees or below and 80 degrees or above. No one wants to sit in a 94 degree night in Houston...

James Fremont
James Fremont

Both the heat and the "cold," all 55 degrees of it.

James Fremont
James Fremont

Green Bay people deal with the cold. Here, people would just bitch about it.

John Sczykutowicz
John Sczykutowicz

Football was meant to be played outside. Regardless of heat or cold. Green Bay uses cold to their advantage, why can't Houston use the heat?

Kevin Gee
Kevin Gee

If anything, have the night games with the roof open!

Suzanne Patrick
Suzanne Patrick

Football is an outside sport - the fact the roof is never open is ridiculous - speaking as someone who has sat through games in 90+ and 5 degree weather in the same season.

Charles David Castillo
Charles David Castillo

If it is never to be used - the money could have been saved or spent more wisely.

Teri Walter
Teri Walter

No, it's silly to have a retractable roof for a sport played during hot months, on a stadium in a tropical encironment.

Amy McMullen
Amy McMullen

Have you ever sat through a game in the rain? Or when it's Freezing outside ( not in Houston). Or when it's 110' in the shade! That AC sure feels good!

Sam Samson
Sam Samson

That money could have gone into the Astrodome.

Joseph McPeek
Joseph McPeek

Yeah, let's see how fast they complain about it being open when its 98 degrees in September and they are crying cause it's too hot!!

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

If people are getting groped and women have to carry a goofy looking plastic bag to see a game, the least they can do is open the roof on a nice night.

Brian Davis
Brian Davis

its not 107 in november and december

skeelon
skeelon

"...if Astros fans can make it through an Astros game with an open Minute Maid Park roof, then surely Texans fans can sit in the sunlight in October."

Dynamo fans endure the hot summer with no roof or AC. Sure its hot, but we arent a bunch of pansies. We know that the Texas heat and the noise we as fans make in the stadium make it almost impossible for opponents to do anything at OUR home. 

 This article is something that ive always wondered about the stadium for a long time. Why is the roof closed when weather policy permits? and you cant say its homefield advantage/superstitious/good luck because we got whooped last year by the Packers and Vikings not to mention losing to the shitty Raiders in 2011.


Jeff Berlat
Jeff Berlat

Hey Chase, they aren't undefeated with the roof closed. Open the dang roof in December....

Chase Thorn
Chase Thorn

we paid more to see them win, keep it closed and loud!!!

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

Maybe they think that it is only doors and windows that open. Go tell them!!!

Rae Mi
Rae Mi

Pay it back?! LOL

purplestallion
purplestallion

I went to a motocross event there at Reliant Stadium a few years ago on a glorious fall day and was shocked that the roof wasn't opened.  My shock turned to absolute disgust when the fumes and noise from the bikes created the worst audience member experience I've ever had.  I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  What a waste.

ecnordstrom
ecnordstrom

"...if Astros fans can make it through an Astros game with an open Minute Maid Park roof, then surely Texans fans can sit in the sunlight in October."

There's no roof at BBVA, yet Dynamo players and supporters endure March - October. 

RedIsNotADrink
RedIsNotADrink

He made it clear that he's talking about the other nights where the temp is comfortable.

RedIsNotADrink
RedIsNotADrink

He's talking about last night where it wasn't. I was at the Dynamo game and it was perfect.

RedIsNotADrink
RedIsNotADrink

I'm pretty sure the article was about when it's NOT 98. Js.

RedIsNotADrink
RedIsNotADrink

True dat! I was at the Dynamo game last night and it was PERFECT!

RedIsNotADrink
RedIsNotADrink

He's talking about when it's acceptable outside, read the article.

skeelon
skeelon

@RedIsNotADrink yes is was awesome! Especially when we get the W!!! I was there too and that was probably one of the loudest crowds ive ever been to at BBVA 

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