BBVA Compass Stadium – Texas Southern Tigers
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TSU Tigers Roar in Houston
Beginning in 2012, Texas Southern University’s football program made the 22,039 seat BBVA Compass Stadium (home of the MLS Houston Dynamo) their home stadium, finally leaving their on-campus stadium Alexander Durley Sports Complex. Texas Southern University competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), which is made up of historically black colleges and universities in the Southern United States. The conference is part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division 1-AA. Texas Southern is positioned in the West Division of the SWAC with Grambling State, Prairie View A&M, Southern University, and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Food & Beverage 2
BBVA Compass Stadium is a major league stadium, but the high-quality concessions facilities here aren’t available during Texas Southern football games. There are a couple of concession stands that can be utilized, but the options are limited, which still works as the TSU crowds aren’t exactly large. Although the menu is more limited, the prices stay the same as if the Dynamo were on the field. The basic menu offers the following items: cheeseburgers ($9), grilled chicken sandwiches ($10), hot dogs ($7.50), veggie burgers ($9), chicken tender baskets ($11.50), personal sized pizza ($9.50), and side items including chili cheese fries, French fries, pretzels, peanuts, cookies, popcorn, and nachos (each for $8).
BBVA Compass Stadium serves Pepsi products that will empty your pocket money fast – the high cost of soda is $6 for a regular or $9 for a bottomless souvenir Cup (Dynamo Cup). The bargain is the $9 bottomless cup, especially if there is more than one person in your group. Even a bottle of water’s cost is inflated at $5.50.
There is alcohol available, which seems to be a better selection than the Pepsi products, although the range is $9.50 and up depending on the type of alcohol. The best location for this would be the Heineken Star Bar in the end zone. However, Houston is one of the best cities to find unique restaurants and cuisine options that eating before or after the game is the better decision than using the stadium concessions.
BBVA Compass Stadium is located on the edge of eastern downtown Houston just a couple of blocks from Minute Maid Park, home of the MLB Houston Astros. There is a view of the Houston skyline from BBVA Compass Stadium, which was specially built for soccer competition, so the venue has the look and feel of a European soccer stadium but on a smaller scale. The stands wrap around the entire field with a consistent height and in a double decked format, and the entire stadium is equipped with seat back chairs. The playing surface is real grass, and there is a large video scoreboard in the south end zone which offers great replay views.
There are no Texas Southern football logos on the field during the MLS season, as the Houston Dynamo are the primary tenant. However, the positive here is that there are no bad views in the stadium – the visiting fans section is in the east side bleachers, but there is plenty of other seating available.
The band is located on the west side of the playing surface – Texas Southern (and other HBCUs) have a very strong band tradition, so many fans come out to the game just for the halftime show. In addition, the TSU cheerleaders stay in the game by constantly prodding the crowd from the west side to the end zones; these ladies (along with two tiger mascots) try to keep the fans in the game, but being a small crowd, this task can seem non-effective.
BBVA Compass Stadium is located on the edge of eastern downtown Houston. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, which offers fans a large variety of great restaurants and attractions within a short drive from the stadium. The facility is about three miles north of the Texas Southern University campus, and is near Houston’s historic warehouse and museum districts. The venue shares the area with the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Houston Rockets’ Toyota Center, and the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park.
Being situated in downtown gives fans an abundant choice of dining and entertainment options both before and after the game. Lucky’s Pub is just across the street from BBVA Compass Stadium, and Little Woodrow’s is only a block away; there is also a local brewery about 3 blocks away called the 8th Wonder Brewery. Depending on how long you will be in town, however, there are many other ways you can sample Houston’s diverse food options, for example great TexMex is available from Ninfa’s on Navigation. Alternatively, for a taste of Vietnamese visit Les Givral’s, or if you are in the mood for real Texas BBQ, there is Jackson Street BBQ near Minute Maid Park.
BBVA Compass Stadium is at the EaDo/Stadium metro stop for Houston’s metro rail line, and the upper east grandstands will provide a view of the Houston skyline. The stadium is about three miles north of the Texas Southern University campus, making it an accessible off-campus venue for the university community.
As for attractions, Houston has plenty of things to do to keep anyone busy and engaged. The most famous would be the Johnson Space Center/NASA, but in the same area as BBVA Compass Stadium is Discovery Green. Or, the Houston Zoo and the Houston museum district are only about 4 miles from the venue, and both are a good value. In addition, if you come for a TSU game early in the season, there is also the possibility of watching the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Lastly, there are two breweries near BBVA Compass Stadium – for $7 at the Saint Arnold Brewing Company you get the brewery tour, a souvenir glass, and tokens for free beer samples, while the 8th Wonder Brewery is a warehouse type brewery serving craft flavorful brews.
Last season (2017) the average home attendance for Texas Southern football was 8,800, but some games may see fewer than 2,000 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium due to the weather or other factors, such as the Astros playing a game at the same time, or when TSU is playing a Division II opponent. However, the average attendance here shows that there is fan base for Texas Southern football, some of whom may come to witness the band, as TSU has a wonderfully entertaining marching core – SWAC fans are competitive when it comes to their school’s band, and Texas Southern University has a great one.
TSU fans get into the game on big plays (turnovers, scores, etc.), as well as on the typical defensive third downs, and even when their team has the ball. The fan base is simple: students, alumni, and families will be the attendance.
BBVA Compass Stadium being a downtown venue makes it very accessible and easy to get to. The only thing that prevents a 5 rating in this area are the traffic issues, which the city of Houston seems to ignore. However, parking is ample in the downtown neighborhoods and in parking lots around the facility.
BBVA Compass Stadium is easily accessible from major highways and interstates such as I-45, I-10, and I-69/US Highway 59. But another advantage of the downtown stadium location is that there are several easy options in terms of public transportation. For example, Houston’s Metro Rail System consists of light rail and bus stations near BBVA Compass Stadium, so the Metro is a great way to avoid parking fees and traffic – the venue is a stop on the Green and Purple lines via the EaDo/Stadium stop directly in front of the facility. There are also taxi and Uber/Lyft drop off areas near the stadium at Walker Street and Hutchins Street, and the staff have installed bicycle racks at all the stadium entrances for cyclists.
Two airports serve the city of Houston – George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 20 miles to the north of the venue, and William P. Hobby International, 10 miles to the south. The former is one of the largest and busiest airports in the country, with flights coming in from all over the world, and the downtown area is easily accessible from the airport if you are looking to fly in for a game at BBVA Compass Stadium. Also, if you are staying near the downtown area and don’t want to drive to the facility you can take the Metrorail light rail system; the trains crisscross the city and have numerous stops.
Return on Investment 2
Texas Southern tickets range from $15-$53, with the lowest ticket prices available at the TSU bookstore, or you will pay $18 at the stadium box office. The best deal is getting the lower level general admission tickets, as that section has a good view, and you can more around the stadium very easily if desired.
The concessions prices are kept at the pricing for Dynamo games, so there is no break there on the wallet; the best thing is to eat before and/or after the game, and maybe share the bottomless soda cup. The overall investment can be as low as $15-$20 if you plan accordingly – while the investment for football may be a little high, the halftime show from the Texas Southern Ocean of Soul will keep the ROI respectable.
Texas Southern football games being played in a downtown stadium provides a wide variety of restaurants, attractions, and public transportation access. However, just like the rest of SWAC football, it is all about the band; the Texas Southern Ocean of Soul.
BBVA Compass Stadium is a wonderful facility for the Texas Southern football team and its fans. Home and visiting fans, the family and friends of the players, or others visiting Houston for the weekend will enjoy a day hearing the Tiger Roar at this great facility.
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