NRG Stadium On The Cheap

NRG Stadium

To the NFL fans that live outside of Texas, NRG Stadium is home to the state’s other team.

After all, the Houston Texans, historically…

  • Are less notorious
  • Are less successful
  • Are less valuable
  • Play in a smaller media market

But this is not about popularity or notoriety - this is about prices.

So if the Texans are the “lesser” team, shouldn’t their fans be paying lesser prices?

That certainly is not the case, at least not in 2015:

  Real Cost Index Real Cost Ratio
Dallas Cowboys $938.28 19.79%
Houston Texans $1101.63 23.30%
Based upon latest data from

The real cost index is the same as the Fan Cost Index, but uses secondary market prices for tickets & parking passes. The real cost ratio is the real cost index ÷ monthly median income.

And while the initial average resale cost of Cowboys tickets have risen 60% since 2015, the Texans prices are basically the same, according to TicketIQ.

But game day at the former Reliant Stadium can still break your wallet if you’re not careful, so here’s…

How you can save a bundle at NRG Stadium

Cheap tickets.  According to Captain Obvious, the cheap seats are cheaper. And Mariah Carey needs miming lessons. But cheap Texans tickets are very cheap.

Sidebar:  The cheap seat designation refers to the lowest price available per seat for a particular game at a particular time (minimum purchase of two, standing room only excluded).
For moderately successful teams such as the Texans, the average cheap seat price is normally 60%-70% of the average overall price of tickets on the secondary market for that team.

The fact that the average cheap seat cost of $132 (2015) & $141 (2016) for the last two home openers fell within that range (63%) is all the more remarkable when you consider that home openers are typically among the most expensive games of the season.

More on NFL tickets.

Cheap food.  Most stadium food is well, stadium food, and it’s usually anything but cheap. But not only has the fare at at the Houston Texans stadium has gotten good reviews (#5 on in 2010, “A” grade from Bleacher Report in 2012), the prices are reasonable as well. Take the brisket sandwich at Killen’s BBQ, for instance. At 8 bucks, it’s half the cost of the Lobel’s prime rib sandwich at MetLife Stadium.

Then there’s the “value items” that most NFL stadiums don’t offer…

  • 12-oz. Dasani water ($2)
  • Regular draft beer ($5)
  • Coca-Cola combos (Coke and nachos or hot dog for $5)
  • Chicken tenders/chicken wings basket ($10)
…at prices that make them bargains.

Outside the stadium, there’s Lucky’s Pub.  Lots of big TV screens, $8.95 Pulled Pork sandwiches & Fish Tacos, free parking and shuttle ride to NRG makes this place an absolute must for those on a budget.

Cheap parking.  The face value cost of a Texans parking pass ($35) is less than half that for AT&T Stadium, but that doesn’t mean you should grab one at the first opportunity. Besides, you can easily pay double that amount if you buy from an online ticket broker.

Here are the best places to park for a Houston Texans game, no frills:

  • Metered street parking near Metro light rail Ensemble station - a few bucks for a parking spot + $2.50 for round-trip light rail fare.
  • Free street parking (Sunday only) near the Convention District Capitol WB light rail station - you pay only for the light rail.
  • Wells Fargo Lot, 1 block from Downtown TC light rail station.
  • Holiday Inn - a 10 minute walk to the north of the stadium, for $20 (unconfirmed).

Cheap hotels.   The 2017 average daily rate for a Houston hotel is $168, according to, but there are a number of 2- and 3-star hotels near NRG Stadium at less than $110 per night.

Here are 6 top-rated hotels within 2 miles of the stadium:

  • Crowne Plaza Houston near Reliant Stadium - $106/night*, 70 rating**
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Houston - $101, 77
  • Quality Inn & Suites NRG Park - $90, 66
  • Scottish Inns & Suites - $79, 80
  • Astro Best Inn - $68, 68
  • Sterling Inn & Suites - $60, 67

* Rates are for a 1 night stay (11/19 - 11/20/17 were the proposed dates in this case) as of Nov. 3, 2017.
**Ratings are based upon cumulative scores from at least 2 of 4 sites (Expedia,,, & priceline) - a 3 (out of 5) rating on Expedia = 60, 7 (out of 10) rating on = 70.

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