HOUSTON (KTRK) --Cougar football fans got their first look at their new home Friday. They call it the Cage, and we discovered it's part of a much bigger picture for the University of Houston.
More than 40,000 people packed the Cage Friday night. It's just one of the new buildings on a campus that's rapidly changing. Students love it, and local businesses are ready to reap the rewards too.
There is no better way to Christen a stadium: the Spirit of Houston, the Cougar Dolls, the cheerleaders...
The Cage is just of the new buildings on campus. Administrators at the University of Houston are spending millions to complete with UT and Texas A&M. It worked on Jade Bittle.
"I am from out of state and this was my first choice so I guess you are doing a good job," Bittle said.
That's exactly what administrators want to hear.
"It has been just a great movement of the university. Of course the Tier I designation a few years ago, but this is now a destination place for a lot of students," said Mark Rhoades, VP of UH's Intercollegiate Athletics.
Modernizing comes at a cost. The stadium's price tag is $120 million. It took more than a year and a half to build it. During that time, neighboring businesses like Frenchy's Chicken restaurant saw a slowdown in sales but that's over now.
"It's even more busy and we are expecting to get busier," Urainia Williams with Frenchy's Chicken said.