The Irish Times is reporting the Eagles June 8, 2013 game against Ireland will be played in Houston. After a record-setting crowd turned out at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium for the Italy test this June, it was expected Houston would be on the short list for the 2013 match, as it's always considered a money-making opportunity when Ireland comes to town.
The question remains, where in Houston will they play? BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the MLS's Houston Dynamo, holds just over 22,000. Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, holds just over 71,000. USA Rugby staffers toured Reliant last year and the National Office even considered putting the Italy game in the NFL stadium.
The decision on where to hold the Ireland game is a big one for USA Rugby. While the lure of playing the game in a larger, marquee stadium in front of more fans is great, there's pressure to make as much money on these tests as possible. And with a smaller stadium usually comes a smaller bill. As a contrast, Rugby Canada has made a habit of playing in smaller, cheaper venues to maximize profit.
Should the Irish Times report be accurate, the Ireland test will be the second big international event to take place in Houston in 2013, as the first-ever IRB Women's Sevens World Series visits BBVA Compass Stadium in February.