Damage to Reliant Stadium forces rescheduling of Texans-Ravens

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans' home game against the Baltimore Ravens, previously scheduled for Monday night, has been postponed until Nov. 9 because of hurricane-related damage to Reliant Stadium.

Hurricane Ike, which made landfall early Saturday at Galveston as a severe Category 2 storm, also caused extensive damage throughout Houston, including the retractable roof at Reliant Stadium.

The Nov. 9 game will be held during the Ravens' bye week. The Texans' home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, originally scheduled for Nov. 9, will be moved to Oct. 26, which was the bye week for both of those teams.

This Sunday will now count as the bye for the Ravens and Texans. The Bengals' bye will be Nov. 9.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been impacted by this hurricane. We will adjust,"
Ravens coach
John Harbaugh said. "Our focus now turns to preparing for the Browns."

The storm tore chunks off the stadium's retractable roof and the damage can't be fixed in time to host the game, said Shea Guinn, president and general manager of Reliant Park.

"There is no way this stadium will host a game on Monday night," Guinn said Saturday. "There are parts of the roof that are completely gone."

The retractable roof on the $352 million venue rolls open in nine sections. Guinn said five of the sections were missing and large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.

"It's hard to tell what came from where," Guinn said.

The game, originally scheduled for Sunday, was moved to Monday earlier in the week as Ike approached the area.

The field is not scheduled to host another game until Oct. 5, but Guinn said he wasn't sure when repairs could be completed. He said the stadium also sustained some water damage at street level.

The league said in a news release that alternate sites for the Texans-Ravens game were considered, but logistics made them impossible.

Reliant Stadium sits next to the Astrodome. Guinn said Saturday that he had not yet inspected the dome for storm damage. The Texans' air-supported practice "bubble" across the street was deflated on Thursday and was not damaged, Guinn said.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the supervisor of the county's hurricane cleanup efforts, planned to visit Reliant Stadium and survey the damage later Saturday.

Harbaugh canceled Sunday's practice; the Ravens will have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off.
"Without a bye, we believe we need to give the players the next few days off," Harbaugh said. "We'll have a Cleveland game plan ready for them when they come in on Wednesday."

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN and contributed to this report. Information from ESPN.com reporter James Walker and The Associated Press was used in this report.