NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium, in Houston, Texas, USA. NRG Stadium has a seating capacity of 71,054, a total area of 1,900,000 square feet (180,000 m2) with a 97,000 sq ft (9,000 m2) playing surface. NRG Stadium employs two different playing surfaces; a natural grass field is used for professional football games while an artificial surface, AstroTurf GameDay Grass, is used for college and high school games. Both surfaces are laid out on interlocking trays.
The stadium is the home of the National Football League's Houston Texans, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Texas Bowl, host to many international soccer matches for the USA National Soccer Team, and other events. The stadium served as the host facility for Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004 and WrestleMania XXV on April 5, 2009.
NRG Stadium is part of a collection of venues (including the Astrodome), which are collectively called NRG Park. The entire complex is named for NRG Energy under a 32-year, $300 million naming rights deal in 2000.
The stadium was designed by the architectural firms of Hermes Reed Architects and Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam who were teamed to create the Houston Stadium Consultants (HSC). The architects of Populous (then HOK Sport) and the HSC worked together with engineers from Walter P Moore and Uni-Systems to design the stadium utilizing the principles of kinetic architecture. The facility offers a sense of transparency, with its fabric roof and expansive areas of glazing. At night, the building appears to glow from within. The extensive use of glass provides an open-air feel to the concourses, which are open to the field of play. NRG Stadium has over 7,000 club seats, 186 luxury suites, and multiple lounges and bars. The stadium can be configured to utilize a 125,000-square-foot space for meetings, specialty functions, exhibits, and concerts.
One of the most notable aspects of the design is the stadium's retractable, fabric roof. The roof mechanization consists of two large panels that split apart at the 50 yard line, lying over and above each end zone when fully retracted. Ten parallel, tri-chord trusses ride on two parallel rails, each supported by a large, 675 feet -long super-truss. Roof operation is controlled in the stadium press box via computer, containing live images of the travel path of each roof panel; plus, furnishing live feedback from all roof components throughout the operation. The roof panels can be opened or closed in as little as 7 minutes, moving at a speed of up to 35 feet- per-minute.