One year from now the University of Houston will join the Big East Conference in all sports, but until then we’ll be spending the 2012 season as a member of Conference USA for the final time.
The University of Houston has been a charter member of C-USA since the league was founded in 1995 but with the changing college conference landscape and UH campus leadership under president and chancellor Renu Khator pushing UH to be a Tier One institution in academics and its athletic programs, (and the Big 12 being ‘scurred’ to invite UH to join the conference) the move is being made the join the Big East in 2013.
Something else this will be is the final football season for Robertson Stadium. The stadium was built in 1941 as an HISD high school football venue named Jeppesen Stadium and has a lot of history attached to it. It hosted the Yates-Wheatley Thanksgiving Day game when both schools were in the old PVIL, Houston Oilers games in the early 60’s, some Texas Southern University and HISD gridiron clashes and served as the home of the Houston Dynamo when thy moved here from San Jose until their new downtown stadium opened in May.
It was bought by the University of Houston in the late 70’s and renamed Robertson Stadium to provide an on campus facility for UH football games and was expanded in the 1990’s to its current 32,000 seat capacity.
Once the final UH football game is concluded in December, demolition of Robertson will begin in order to clear room for the brand new 40,000 seat football stadium expandable to 50,000 to be erected on that spot of the campus and completed by September 2014.
One cool thing is that the METRORail Southeast light rail line is currently being constructed on the Scott Street side of the new stadium and will be completed in late 2013-early 2014 which will make it easier to get there on Cougar game days if you don’t feel like driving.
But while I’m happy my alma mater is finally getting to work on that long talked about new on campus stadium and also renovating the Hofheinz Pavilion basketball arena across the street in the process, the one thing I’m sad about is that Robertson Stadium and the history attached to is going to be lost to the wrecking ball
But I’m also looking forward to seeing what happens in this final season of C-USA competition and how we fare in the Big East in 2013.