Friday, April 12, 2024

ROBERT RICE STADIUM. THE PLACE WHERE JOHN KENNEDY GAVE HIS LEGENDARY SPEECH

Such constructions as stadiums have always been more distinguishable against the backdrop of other buildings. It’s obvious, as, despite all the beauty of residential buildings, the feeling you experience in a big arena is incomparable to any other. Maybe, we get affected by its grandeur, which takes our breath away. However, each arena has its own unique history and remarkable pages. We offer to your attention the history of Robert Rice Stadium, which became the center of not only sports but also political life of Houston and the whole world. Learn more at houston-future.

The stadium in the mid-19th century

Robert Rice Stadium was opened in 1950 and served as a home to the Rice Owls football club.

It is located at 6100 South Main Street.

The stadium stands out among other arenas due to the fact that its inferior part was projected to be lower than the level of the lawn. Houston’s local media also highlighted the symbiosis of simplicity and modernity. Originally, designers wanted to place running tracks around the field, but the idea was refused to increase the number of seats and bring them closer to the field.

The stadium was built exclusively for football games and served as a home for different clubs.

Facts, statistics and significant events

The US sports analysts recognized the stadium as the most comfortable for watching football games. In addition, its aisles were designed so that the arena could be cleared of spectators in nine minutes in case of an emergency.

The stadium was built on the site of the old Rice Field arena, which had a seating capacity of 37,000. Initially, the new arena seated 70,000 spectators, but later, 23,000 seats were dismantled. So today, 47,000 fans can gather here to watch games.

During its long history, the stadium has served as a home to several clubs from different leagues, including

  • Houston Cougar in 1951-1964 
  • Bluebonnet Bowl in 1959-1986
  • Houston Oilers in 1965-1967 
  • Rise Owls from 1950 until now.

The arena got its name in a fairly simple and obvious way, as it is located on the campus of Rice University.

The arena hosted a lot of various sports events, however,  it also played an important role in the history of the whole world.

September 12, 1962

It was on that historic day when the 35th US president revealed the intentions of humanity to step into the unknown.

John Kennedy made it clear to the world that in ten years the foot of an American would make the first step on the surface of the Moon. There were those who took his words as a joke. The Soviet Union, which sent Sputnik-1 and Yuri Gagarin into space, played a motivational role in that story. In order not to lag behind, the USA decided to offer the world something new and grandiose. Thus, in 8 years, despite all the skepticism, a human foot stepped on the surface of the Moon for the first time.

Returning to the arena discussion, it is worth noting that in 2021, a whopping $37 million was spent on the arena reconstruction and it seems that the works would be continued. The management plans to increase the number of seats to 59,000. After all, the most important thing about sport is that it should be spectacular because it is precisely what fans strive for.

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