A report suggests the University Interscholastic League’s Texas high school football state championships are heading to Houston’s NRG Stadium at least for the upcoming season.
Deputy Executive Director Dr. Jamey Harrison told MyFoxHouston.com that the UIL is prohibited from announcing “any decisions until we have a fully executed agreement.”
The report cited “sources familiar with the process,” who said the UIL chose Houston over the Alamodome in San Antonio, the only other viable option.
A scheduling conflict between the UIL and the Dallas Cowboys led to the need for an alternative venue to Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, the host site since 2011.
Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said Houston was the “front-runner” for hosting the championships in May following the NFL’s schedule release that had AT&T Stadium as the host site for the Cowboys-Jets game Dec. 19.
The NFL told Cowboys officials that its schedule was locked; the UIL’s one-year extension agreement to keep the games in Arlington dissipated.
UIL officials said miscommunication led to the conflict while the Cowboys assured it was their intention to host the title games.
Suggestions surfaced that the championships be bumped up a day to Wednesday Dec. 16 so as to finish by Friday, Dec. 18. But that option faded quickly. More than 50,000 fans packed AT&T stadium for certain games in 2013 and 2014. Moving the schedule earlier in the week would likely stifle attendance.
Many suggested metroplex teams have unduly benefitted from the games being played exclusively at Jerry World.
Cross-state rivalries between teams located in the suburbs of Dallas and Houston have emerged more powerful than ever. News of the title games moving to NRG Stadium should be welcome in Houston.
Teams from central Texas might like the change as well. Austin to Houston shaves 35 miles compared to a trip to Dallas, and Houston is nearly 75 miles closer for San Antonio schools.
UIL officials have considered rotating the games among Arlington, Houston and San Antonio after this year.