View Full Version : Home field advantage has left the building

11-22-2008, 12:52 AM
Not really about the Texans, but it could apply. Bill Simmons makes the case that all these new state of the art stadium diminish home field advantage. I think it's a great article and he makes valid points. I was wondering what you guys think? I wasn't here during the Oilers days, but could you compare the Texans in Reliant to the Oilers in the Astrodome? Obviously, the quality of play is not there. The Oilers had good teams while the Texans have not so that could skew any opinions. But what about just the experience? Was it more...festive at Oilers games? Did it seem less more like a blue collar type atmosphere, if you know what I mean, instead of going to a game knowing bigwigs are in their fancy, schmancy luxury suites?

What do you think?

Here's the article I mentioned


For the first 11 weeks of the regular season, home-field advantage has not mattered like it once did.

I realized this during the Bears-Colts game in Week 1, when Kyle Orton waltzed into Indy and ruined the grand opening of Lucas Oil Stadium, the latest state-of-the-art football venue that seems much more interested in looking cool and making money over, you know, actually helping its home team win games. The place was so dead for four quarters that you could almost hear John Madden salivating over his postgame meal of fried turkey legs, blooming onions and Lipitor parmigiana. You could have laid a baby down at midfield, and it wouldn't have woken up.

That brewing disenfranchisement keeps popping up at these home games. You can not hear it, if that makes sense. And not just in New England. Thirteen teams have built SOTAS (state-of-the-art stadiums) since 1999; 14 if you include Daniel Snyder's overhauling of FedEx Field in 2004. Each stadium follows a similar let's-rake-in-the-cash blueprint. The first section of seats hug the field. At the top of those sections, the club seats start. That's followed by a phalanx of premium luxury suites. More luxury suites dominate the second section. And the majority of blue-collar fans are crammed into the upper decks. Fundamentally, it's a flawed way to cultivate a home-field advantage; beyond the emotional compromises and festering resentment of the blue-collar fans, the newer stadiums don't reverberate noise the same. Look at Lambeau or Ralph Wilson Stadium -- just rows and rows of fans, one after the other, rising for something like 75 rows before you hit your first luxury box. Watching the Browns-Bills game Monday night, I found myself enjoying the fans as much as the contest itself. Now this was football!

11-22-2008, 02:14 AM
I know that this is not the purpose of your post but, I am soo sick of people all of sudden comparing the Texans and oilers all the time now.
Its getting old. I love reliant.

11-22-2008, 09:03 AM
Reliant can be very loud...when good things are happening. The defense hasn't helped much.

The new Cowboy stadium is going to be in serious trouble from a home field perspective because there are no relatively inexpensive seats on the lower levels. The upper levels are the price of what Reliants lower levels cost.

11-22-2008, 09:34 AM
It isn't really the stadium design that kills home field advantage. It's the policies of the NFL teams as well as the poor play of the team, and the rising ticket prices that kills it.

The rising ticket prices have either priced out the blue-collar fan or caused him to move farther away from the field, this leads to less crowd noise.

Add to this the policies that many have written in here about fans being told to sit down, or be quiet, or they will be forced to leave and have their season tickets taken away because some other fan complains. Without fail the complainer is always not a season ticket holder, nor is passionate about the team, nor football in general.

Finally, when you add on top of all of this the effect of a constantly losing team like the Texans, you have a recipe for no home field advantage.

While I don't expect the Texans to lower prices to inject more blue-collar fans closer to the field, I do believe that improvement in their policies and level of play could greatly increase their home field advantage.:fans:

11-22-2008, 09:46 AM
The Texans are tough and don't need no stinking home field advantage. When they do need it, they can just pipe it in. Real men use taped audio.

11-22-2008, 09:59 AM
I would say that although Reliant is more state of the art than the Astrodome, the atmosphere was about the same "when they were winning". I remember my dad going to games in the late 70's and then took us in the 80's a lot when they weren't winning with only 20,000 if that at the games. Back then we could sit anywhere we wanted and then some. Come the Warren Moon days yeah it was a lot fun and packed, and a hell of a lot more affordable. And yes you still could wonder around and sit anywhere. Nowadays its still fun and enjoyable, and somewhat more pricey but that's to be expected and not a big deal. Like the article said, yeah you have those that fuss or look at the "common man" who roots and cheers loudly for they're team, but I noticed too that these "stick in the mud" season tix holders eventually start to give away they're tickets to the common man who roots/cheers loudly and "bothers" the other "sticks" that sneer and whatever. But lately I've noticed more and more "sticks in the mud" season tix holders in the lower seats have begun to sell or give they're tix away since they aren't winning. So the games have been a hell of a lot more fun to attend now that the rowdiness is back for now, until the team gets better and the "sticks" jump on the winning the bandwagon and start using their tickets again.