Originally Posted by Fiddler
Again, the retractable roof is so real grass can grow inside while still providing an element free game experience for it's patrons.
If they ever decide to go with field turf, then the roof would be a waste of money.
Partial right about the grass.
Reliant has a retractable roof to satisfy the NFL at the time of trying to purchase an expansion team and to satisfy the Houston Rodeo, who was a partner in the stadium's project.
According to David Manica at HOK Sports (the people that designed the stadium):
Manica’s first challenge in designing what would become Reliant Stadium actually came back in the days when the NFL’s return to Houston was little more than a pipe dream.
In 1997, the stadium-to-be was a decidedly different project. For one thing, the roof was fixed, not retractable.
“That was the initial design,” he said. “But the tenant requirements between the football team and the rodeo were such that the rodeo would require the roof to be closed. They were not interested in being a part of an open-air facility.
“Houston was competing with Los Angeles at the time to get the team, and there is no doubt that the NFL prefers an open-air stadium with natural grass. So the best way to solve that problem was to design the new building here with an operable roof.”
Manica’s first drawings of a roof that would open and close began in the summer in 1997 and proceeded in fits and starts for the next two years as Texans owner-to-be Bob McNair wooed and eventually won the rights to the NFL’s 32nd franchise.