University of Houston unveils renderings of new football stadium

HOUSTON Red beams, signed by local donors, alumni, students, staff and athletes were put in place Monday.

"It means commitment to our program, and certainly there's a lot of excitement right now," said Mack Rhoades, vice president of UH Athletics. "We're 6-1 and the stadium is being built, and recruits notice it."

The $120 million stadium is scheduled to open in August 2014 with 40,000 seats.

Head Football Coach Tony Levine says the new stadium will be a big recruiting draw.

"When you talk to young men that you're recruiting in high school and junior colleges, for them to have the opportunity to play in a brand new on campus football facility -- one of the nicest in the country -- is something that's important to them," Levine said..

But this new stadium isn't just about football. Eighty percent of UH students come from the Houston area, and many commute to class. That means only 15 percent of students live on campus, and the university is trying to change that.

"Students who live on campus are more successful in the classroom," UH Assistant Vice Chancellor Emily Messa said. "By connecting that academic space with where the students live, we can have our students and our faculty all engaged."

The university opened two new dorms this fall, adding 1,900 more beds on campus.

"When you couple that with a brand new football facility, it's exciting not only for our student athletes but for our student population as well," Levine said.

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