Texans president Jamey Rootes Question & Answer

Charles Turrible - Houston, TX, US: Hello Sir, I would like to see more jerseys available in the Go Texans stores. I would like to be able to buy Adibi's jersey and other people who I like; however, the custom orders are EXTREMELY high. Can we solve this issue in any way? I would also like to see more Texans hats in camo patterns such as Realtree. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

Texans president Jamey Rootes: This will be my last question for today. I want to thank all of the fans for participating in this live chat. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to joining you again in future live chats.

As far as the question, we'll look at expanding our camo offerings in both of our stores as well as online. The breadth of player offerings for replica jerseys is something we do not control. It is determined by the projected fan demand, according to Reebok. We currently offer 8-10 individual player jerseys and I would expect that number to grow in 2009.


Danny - Clear Lake, TX, US: I love battle red day and we seem to play better in red jerseys. Has there been any talk about wearing red more often?

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

Great question, Danny. There has been discussion about wearing our Battle Red jerseys for multiple home dates in 2009, but no decision has been made at this point. You can count on another Battle Red Day and we will look closely at an additional red jersey game this upcoming season. It is important to point out, however, that the magic of Battle Red Day is created by the fans joining with us, so I encourage you to get your red on for Battle Red Day as well.


Kenny - The Woodlands, TX, US: I love going to the games and getting the true game day experience, including eating at the concession stands. I really enjoy the Bum's BBQ and Prince's Hamburger stands. Are there plans to add any other local resaurants to the menu?

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

Yes, the relationships we have built with Bum Phillips and Prince's have been very successful and we have received tremendous feedback from our fans. We are currently in negotiations for additional local products, which may include Mexican food and a sandwich offering among others. Our overall objective is to provide a positive and uniquely Texan dining experience that adds to your enjoyment at Reliant Stadium.


Walker - Houston, TX, US: Jamey, First off, I think you're great! The Texans are heading in the right direction! Go Texans!!! I was wondering if the Texans are going to lower the price of beer at the stadium? I like beer, but I don't know if I want to pay 7 dollars for one. Are there any other concessions that are being reduced in price? Thanks.

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

We are looking closely at the price of concessions and we plan to roll out some additional value-oriented options for our fans this upcoming season. Last year, we introduced a $2 bottle of water, a $2.50 popcorn, numerous value meals and even a $5 draft beer all designed to provide greater value to our fans.

On the merchandise side, we created "Inside the 20s," which are merchandise stands exclusively offering items less than $20. And we also feature an "Item of the Game" every game that is at a significantly reduced price. The bottom line is we understand the issue and we are working hard to provide a more affordable gameday experience for you.


Zac - Saledo, TX, US: Jamey, I've heard there are new Texans stores opening up around Houston and outside of the stadium. Is this true?

Texans president Jamey Rootes: Yes, last summer we opened a store in the Woodlands, north of Houston, and we're currently evaluating other opportunities for retail shops in the Houston area. We've also expanded our merchandise offerings available through our online store, which you can check out here.

These retail shops are a great way for us to remain connected with our fans 365 days a year and build deeper relationships with our fans in areas, such as the Woodlands, where it is not as convenient to drop by Reliant Stadium.


Sherry - Bellaire, TX, US: What are the Texans going to do to get more fans to show up earlier in the games?

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

We are blessed to have a tailgating environment and culture which is recognized as one of the best in sports. In fact, our J.D. Power indicates that more than half of our fans tailgate and on average they arrive at Reliant Park 2.5 hours prior to kickoff.

Every game we have cars lined up to get into the parking lots more than five hours prior to kickoff. We are glad they are coming; we are thrilled that they are having a great time and we will continue to look for ways to encourage them to get to their seats for kickoff. Home field advantage is critical and if you have suggestions on how we can help facilitate early arrivals, we'd love to hear them. You can submit your suggestions to fanfeedback@houstontexans.com.

It was pretty exciting when we returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Indianapolis a few years back. We'll try to do that more often!


Johnny - Conroe, TX, US: Would the Texans ever consider giving up a home game to play overseas or in Mexico?

Texans president Jamey Rootes: We would like to play a game in Mexico and we have expressed that interest to the league. Giving up a home game comes with many challenges to us and the community, but we remain interested in building relationships with Mexico and Mexican football fans through a game appearance south of the border at some appropriate time.


Jason - San Antonio, TX, US: Has there ever been any consideration to moving Texans training camp to other parts of Texas, like Austin or San Antonio, so that fans in these areas can get a look at the team?

Texans president Jamey Rootes: Jason,

This issue is raised from time to time, but our top priorities are football preparedness and building connections with our local (Houston-area) fan base. We feel these priorities are best served by maintaining our training camp in Houston for the foreseeable future. We do have other programs to build relationships with fans across the state and we will continue to create and develop these regional touch-points.


Barrett - Austin, TX, US: Although I absolutely think the decision to franchise Dunta Robinson was the right move, I would like to know why he wasn't notified of this decision by his employer in a timely manner. Reports say that he found out about it because reporters were calling him to get his reaction. On one of the most important days in his professional career, why couldn't the staff of the Texans have the courtesy to pick up the phone and let him know? I recognize that Rick Smith had his hands full with the ongoing negotiations for Robinson as well as several other Texan players. Couldn't some one from his staff been able to notify the employee? Thank you for your time and hard work. Go Texans.

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

Hi Barrett, thanks for the question. I understand that general manager Rick Smith addressed this issue today at the NFL Scouting Combine. Texans TV's Brooke Bentley is covering the event in Indianapolis and will be providing a full transcript of Rick's comments later today on HoustonTexans.com. Rather than speak for Rick, I encourage you to read his comments on the situation.


Ray Hedden - Houston, TX, US: Albert Haynesworth is available as a free agent. Do the Texans plan to compete to aquire him? Or maybe a Brian Dawkins, Dawan Landry and Lawyer Milloy? Bring some talent into the Defensive line or back feild.

Texans president Jamey Rootes: General manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak's philosophy is to build through the draft and supplement with smart free agent moves. I'm sure we'll look at some of those guys and many others. The key will be finding players who can make our team incrementally better. If you look at Super Bowl-winning teams, most have been built primarily through the draft. Think about how many big-name free agent signees were on this year's Steelers compared to players they drafted. Look back at those Patriots teams that won three Super Bowls in four years. How many of their key players were free agents? The key is to draft well, which our organization has done the last three years. We need to continue doing that and making smart decisions in free agency, and we'll get to where we want to be.


Doug - Houston, TX, US: I have to say I really enjoy the addition of another ACDC song "For those about to Rock...we salute you"....I really get pumped up when I hear that song before our player introductions... Do you ask the players what music they want to hear when they are warming up on the field before the game??

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

Doug,

Thanks for the comments. I believe this is the song and presentation you're referring to here.

We are pretty familiar with the music that our players like and we work these tracks into our pre-game warm up music. During games, we try to play music that will motivate both our players and our fans, especially when we are on defense.

Our fans have provided us with a remarkable home field advantage and we will keep trying to deliver an environment that encourages you and the rest of the crowd at Reliant Stadium to display your passionate Texans Pride on game day. In a league with such incredible parity, home field advnatage is often the difference maker, so come early and be loud because you really do have an impact.

To watch our kickoff presentation, click here.


Zach Hamilton - Grand Junction, CO, US: While I was in Iraq, the morale of my Marines started dropping so I wrote the Texans asking for some support and I got a huge response. Does the Texan organization do anything for troops over seas aside from answering fan mail?

Texans president Jamey Rootes: We work dilligently to answer all the mail we recieve from our troops, wherever they are stationed across the globe. Depending upon the situation, we sometimes send various merchandise items, like the ever-popular Houston Texans cheerleader calendar. It is important for us to let our brave soliders (like you) know that our hearts are with you and we appreciate the sacrifices you are making to keep us safe and free.

Here at home, we work hard to pay tribute to our men and women in uniform with Salute to the Military Day, ticket donations and many other programs. Most recently, we partnered with our local CBS affiliate (KHOU) and Wreaths Across America last December to launch the largst wreath laying program in the country. We are proud of the brave men and women in our armed forces and we will keep looking for ways to let you know how much we appreciate your service.


Ben - Katy, TX, US: With so many families hurting and your organization staying incredibly profitable, how d you justify raising ticket prices on your customers? And I do not consider the overused company line of "our prices our too low so we have to bring them in line with other organizations". That is not a justifable reason to anyone out here who is hurting.

Texans president Jamey Rootes:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the question. As an organization, we were very careful about our ticket pricing program this year and made some important moves:

First, we did not adjust prices consistently across the board. Instead, we adjusted our prices to reflect the relative demand in each section of the stadium. For example, in certain sections of the stadium, our tickets are sometimes resold in the secondary ticket market for several times face value, so we thought it was fair to set a slightly higher price in those sections.

Secondly, we froze prices on 5,000 of our lower priced tickets ($35) and raised the price by only $1 for another 9,000 Gridiron, TX seats. We did this because we felt that these sections represented the segment of the population that was most challenged by this current economic environment, even though these same seats sometimes are resold for appreciably more in the secondary market.

It is important to note that almost our entire cost structure is fixed and it escalates at a predetermined rate regardless of our revenues. So to provide a competitive product on the field and an exceedingly entertaining experience in the stands and the parking lots, we felt we needed to take a slight price increase this year. The change amounts to about $2 per ticket, which is meaningful, but hopefully not outrageous given that it still keeps us below the average of all NFL teams.


doug - Houston, TX, US: I was wondering if there is going to be a revision in the roof policy....especially where it comes to temperature? I enjoyed all the games....even when it was cooler with the roof open.

Texans president Jamey Rootes: Thanks for joining me on the live chat today. I really appreciate your time and questions.

Great question, Doug. Click here for a link to our current roof policy. We will discuss the roof policy this spring in light of our experience last fall. While the roof situation was a challenge for us and our fans, it forced us to keep the roof open even when the temperature was outside of our 50/80 guideline. Because of our experience with Monday Night Football, we will consider reducing the lower bound of the temperature range, but no firm decision has been made at this time. I do not anticipate us raising the upper temperature (80 degrees).
One other thing, the NFL is also evaluating roof policies in the league this spring. As a result, there may be additional guidelines for us to follow. We'll keep you posted.




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