Monday, August 27, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 4


UT-UH game draws in money

By Tim Williams
Daily Cougar Staff

Remember the old adage, "Winning isn't everything, its how you play that counts?"

Well, UH Athletics may be able to update that sentiment for the University of Texas vs. University of Houston football game on Sept. 22 by
saying, "Winning isn't everything, it's how much you're paid that counts."

The game, to be played in a completely refurbished and temporarily expanded Robertson Stadium, is technically sold out except for a
handful of tickets being held back for late season ticket holders, said Director of Athletic Marketing George Koenig.

"A lot of people have gone after the 'two-pack' ticket package," Koenig said. "Businesses keep the Texas ticket and donate the other ticket
to charity."

The "Texas Trifecta" ticket package has also been an attractive purchase for fans, selling more than 3,000 units since its mid-summer
inception. For $90, fans get a reserved seating ticket to the UT, Rice University and Texas Christian University games.

Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale has been active through his promotions firm, Love Advertising, in pushing the
Texas game at Robertson Stadium.

Fans on both sides had been critical of UH's insistence that the game be played in the 32,000-seat stadium, as UT games regularly attract
upward of 80,000 fans when played in Austin.

This year's contest will be the first time the two teams have met in Houston since the Southwest Athletic Conference was disbanded, as
well as the first time since UH started playing its home games at Robertson and not at the greater-capacity Astrodome.

Another venue considered for the game was San Antonio's Alamodome. UH reportedly rejected a $1 million offer by that stadium's officials
to move the game there.

Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar 

Architecture senior Heather Davis Viney stands in front of Gallery Furniture's huge video monitor Sunday. Plans call for the monitor to be
brought to the Robertson Stadium parking lot during UH home games so that tailgating fans can keep up with other college football

When the final decision was made to have the game at Robertson, McIngvale was said to want an event that would showcase the stadium
and impress UT's fans.

"Texas Trifecta" sales got a big boost from an extensive radio advertising campaign sponsored by McIngvale, Love Advertising account
executive Austin Crossley said. However, game and ticket promotions have taken a back seat to Gallery Furniture's Tropical Storm Allison
flood-relief efforts, Crossley said.

McIngvale had been working to bring a major concert to Robertson Stadium. Negotiations were being held with 1970s rock band the
Eagles for a Friday-night concert on the eve of the game. McIngvale also wanted to hold a competition for his late-model "Cougar-red"
Ferrari during the game.

Both ideas have been scrapped, Crossley said.

"We made a generous offer for the Eagles, but they rejected it," he said. There are no plans to replace the group.

"It had to be someone capable of filling the expanded, 40,000-plus seating of Robertson," Crossley said.

In addition, both Crossley and Koenig said that Love Advertising and UH are trying to find a big enough location on campus to hold a
scheduled barbecue cook-off. They said the intramural field off of Cullen Blvd. and Interstate 45 behind Wendy's is the most feasible place.

The cook-off is slated to begin Sept. 19 and will provide a $25,000 prize and points in a national competition held by barbecue teams.

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