Houston City Council has approved a $3.2 million deal to help the Houston SaberCats build a new rugby stadium. The stadium will form part of the redevelopment of the city-owned Houston Sports Park, just off the South Freeway. The money will reimburse team investors for putting up not only the stadium, but also a variety of improvements to the park for general use – including a new parking lot, lighting, and access roads.In addition to the 3,500-seat stadium and associated improvements, the deal includes two practice fields. The SaberCats have committed to providing free rugby training camps to the community as well.
To be sure, rugby is a niche sport in this city. However, if there are enough fans in the region to support a professional team, then it certainly makes sense for them to have their stadium to call home.
Major League Rugby in the US is less than a year old. The Houston franchise is one of seven teams that will begin their first season in April. The SaberCats are currently playing exhibition games at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team.The spot of rugby has two major codes: rugby league and rugby union. The SaberCats and its fellow franchises will play the rugby union version the the sport, although the name of the organization itself - Major League Rugby - might suggest otherwise. Confused yet?
I can't say that I pretend to know all the rules about rugby, but I find it to be an interesting sport and I might try to attend a game or two once this facility opens. Kuff has more.