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Houston announces stadium and facility upgrades to accompany move to Big 12

The Cougars kicked off their Big 12 membership with news of TDECU Stadium renovations and $140 million facility upgrades.

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars were one of four programs initiated into Big 12 membership on July 1, 2023. Houston hosted a livestream titled “Toast to the Big 12” at 11:45 pm CT to ring in the new conference affiliation. Speakers on the livestream included university president Dr. Renu Khator, athletic director Chris Pezman, football head coach Dana Holgorsen, and men’s basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson

With a new conference comes new responsibilities, and the University understood the facility upgrades necessary to compete with its Big 12 brethren. Houston revealed depictions of the new football operations facility and TDECU Stadium renovations on the Friday night livestream. The groundbreaking for the facility will commence shortly after the Cougars’ Nov. 18 home finale against Oklahoma State, and the construction is estimated to last 18 months — complete by fall 2025.

Pezman shared four renderings during the livestream: (1) TDECU Stadium premium seating and video board, (2) the exterior of the football operations facility, (3) the interior lobby of football operations facility, and (4) the new weight room. Below is each rendering with several details covered by Pezman.

Courtesy of Houston Athletics

TDECU Stadium is adding a party deck with suites and club seats below it. This premium section will provide a capacity ranging from 850 to 900 occupants. However, the net effect of the premium seating is a loss of 250 to 300 seats. Additionally, a sideline-to-sideline video board will be constructed which is approximately three times the size of the current video board.

Courtesy of Houston Athletics

The new $140 million football operations facility will break ground following the Nov. 18 home finale against Oklahoma State, with a plan to fully move in by fall 2025.

Courtesy of Houston Athletics

A “dramatic” grand staircase will appear in the split lobby of the new football operations facility. This building is set to house the coaches’ offices as well as player areas. The main entrance is a 30-foot tall glass wall.

Courtesy of Houston Athletics

The new weight room is 20,000 square feet and located on the second floor of the football operations facility.

Although the renovations aren’t set to take effect this season, Houston is now officially a Big 12 member. The Cougars kick off their 2023 season on Sept. 2 against UTSA at TDECU Stadium, and they also open conference play at home on Sept. 16 against reigning College Football Playoff qualifier TCU.