HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans will play their home opener against Indianapolis on Oct. 5 in hurricane-damaged Reliant Stadium with the roof open.
The stadium's retractable roof lost five pieces in the storm and officials said large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium during Hurricane Ike. The roof won't be fixed in time for the game against Indianapolis, but insurance adjusters and architects said it is structurally sound to host the game with the roof open.
Officials expect that all eight of Houston's home games this season will be played with the roof open.
"We are pleased with this positive outcome for our fans, our organization and our community," said Texans president Jamey Rootes. "We were determined to play this game and the balance of our 2008 home schedule at Reliant Stadium. Our fans give us a tremendous home-field advantage and we look forward to welcoming them back for our home opener."
Houston's Oct. 5 home opener will be the latest an NFL team has had its first home game since Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh had theirs on the weekend of Oct. 7-8, 2001. Those games were delayed because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Houston will now play a home game each Sunday in October. The Texans are 0-2 this season and travel to Jacksonville on Sunday. They've won four straight at Reliant, dating back to Nov. 18.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press