Home of the Rice Owls football team, Rice Stadium is the largest stadium in the conference. By 1950, a new stadium for the Rice football program was needed as the old Rice Field was showing its age. Construction for a new stadium began in January 1950 and was completed nine months later.
The Owls made their debut at the stadium on September 30, 1950 against Santa Clara. The stadium had a seating capacity of 70,000 when it opened. The lower deck encloses the playing field and upper decks are located on both sides of the gridiron. In the 1990s Rice Stadium saw several improvements: new lights in 1995, new scoreboards in 1996 and the following year, new Astroturf. In recent years there have been several improvements to Rice Stadium. The Astroturf playing surface was replaced with Fieldturf and a new scoreboard was added in 2006. Current capacity of Rice Stadium is listed at 47,000 because sections of the stadium are covered with tarps. Other than being the home of the Rice Owls, the stadium was home of the Houston Oilers before they moved in the Houston Astrodome. It was also the site of Super Bowl VIII between the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings. In recent years there has been discussions of possibly replacing the stadium with a smaller one for the team as average attendance for games is under 20,000.