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Texans to host home opener in Reliant


The Texans will host their home opener against the Colts at Reliant Stadium on Oct. 5.

The Texans announced today that the team will play its regular season home opener on Sunday, Oct. 5 against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at noon CST and will be televised by CBS.

Reliant Stadium suffered damage to five roof panels during Hurricane Ike, which made landfall in Galveston and passed over Houston in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 13. An independent inspection of the stadium conducted by insurance adjusters and architects determined that it is fully fit to host a crowd in excess of 70,000 for a Texans home game. It is expected that all eight of the Texans' remaining home games will be played with the roof open.

"We are appreciative of the hard work and thoughtful analysis that has gone into the inspection and repair of the Reliant Stadium roof and we are pleased at this positive outcome for our fans, our organization and our community," Texans president Jamey Rootes said. "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 on October 5."

{QUOTE}Houston's home opener this year will be the latest for an NFL team since 2001, when Detroit, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay all opened on Oct. 7 and 8. Those teams' home openers were delayed due to the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Texans are currently riding a four-game winning streak at Reliant Stadium dating back to Nov. 18, 2007 against the New Orleans Saints. Houston posted a franchise-best 6-2 record at home last year.

"Our fans, they are the homefield advantage," guard Chester Pitts said. "They really are. We appreciate them so much. It's so loud, so energizing. We feed off of that. It's very difficult for the offenses to work on the field because the crowd is so loud. All that does is help us. So we definitely appreciate it."

The game against the Colts marks the beginning of a four-game homestand for the Texans, which is a team record for consecutive home games. Following Indianapolis, the Texans will host Miami on Oct. 12, Detroit on Oct. 19 and Cincinnati on Oct. 26.

"This gives the fans really something to come back to, look forward to," Pitts said. "It kind of renews the sense of things going back to normalcy, so to speak. It's going to be a great time. It's going to be rocking in here. I'm really excited."

Due to Hurricane Ike, Houston's game against the Baltimore Ravens, originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14, was moved to Sunday, Nov. 9. Cincinnati, which was originally slated to play in Houston on that date, will instead come to Houston on Sunday, Oct. 26. Tickets for each game will remain valid despite the change in date, so fans are asked to hold on to and use their same tickets for the opponent listed on the ticket, regardless of the game date on the ticket.

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