Saturday, September 20, 2008 Updated: September 21, 5:42 PM ET
Texans hope to play at Reliant Stadium with roof open
ESPN.com news services
The damage caused by Hurricane Ike to Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, is not deterring the team from its plans to host the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 5.
The result of the damage, however, might force the Texans to play the rest of the season with the roof open.
The Texans might play their 2008 NFL season with Reliant Stadium's retractable roof remaining retracted.
The stadium and its retractable roof are sound structurally and mechanically, according to the Houston Chronicle, but five Teflon-coated fiberglass roof panels more than 350 feet each were dislodged and will have to be repaired. Four of the five damaged roof panels are located above the playing surface.
"There are a handful of things that we're still assessing," said Shea Guinn, president of SMG-Reliant Park, which manages the county-owned complex, according to the Chronicle. "But we are completely, 100 percent focused on doing what we can to play the game on the 5th. And I feel a whole lot better about things [Friday] than I did [Thursday]."
Guinn said workers tested the roof mechanism Thursday night and are confident it can be opened without problems. Workers, Guinn said, will then try to sandwich repairs to the roof around Texans home games.
"That is a very distinct possibility and likelihood that games could be played with the roof open," Guinn said, according to the Chronicle. "The only area damaged is the fabric. There is no failure, no problem, no issue with any part of the physical structure."
Guinn's assessment was welcomed by Texans owner Bob McNair, whose team plays the Titans Sunday.
"I'm delighted to know there's no structural damage and that it appears we're going to be able to play Oct. 5 against the Colts," McNair said, according to the Chronicle. "I'm satisfied with being able to play [at Reliant Stadium] as an open-air facility for the rest of the season. That's fine with me."