The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – NRG Stadium - Apollo Mapping
Posted on February 7th, 2017

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – NRG Stadium

Last month we were on the campus of Michigan State with a look at one of the Big Ten’s football stadiums; and in February we travel to the site of Super Bowl LI, NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas for this edition of the Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month.

A 50-cm color image of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas collected on June 7, 2015 by Pléiades 1B. To see this stadium in SPOT 6/7 1.5-meter resolution, check out this month’s feature on SPOTMaps. This image has custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. © CNES 2017, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Name & Its Origin: The professional football stadium in Houston was built during the era of advertising naming rights so it has no historic name to consider. Once called Reliant Stadium, the name changed to NRG Stadium in 2014 in order to push its master brand as they purchased Reliant in 2009. Do you miss the days of names like Memorial Stadium and Mile High? We certainly do…

Location: NRG Stadium is one of five buildings that comprises the 350-acre complex, NRG Park, which is located about 5 miles from downtown Houston, Texas. The complex is just 50-feet above sea level and is about 45 miles from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: The 72,220 seat NRG Stadium opened on August 24, 2002 for a preseason National Football League (NFL) game between the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins – won by the Dolphins 24-3. Hermes Architects and Lockwood, Andrews, Newnam, Inc. designed the stadium which was 43% publically-funded at a price tag of $449 million. Before NRG Stadium could host this year’s Super Bowl LI, it required $50 million of upgrades including improved Wi-Fi and seating.

Type of Field Surface: The stadium originally featured a natural grass field, it was replaced in 2015 with AstroTurf however given its poor conditions at the start of the 2015 NFL season. The future of the playing surface is unclear.

Key Sports Teams: While the key tenant of NRG Stadium is certainly the Houston Texans, it does host a variety of special events on its four concourse levels as well as rodeos.

Previous Super Bowls Hosted: By the time you read this article, Super Bowl LI would have just concluded at NRG Stadium on February 5th. The stadium also hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004 when it was named Reliant Stadium. Houston hosted a third final game, Super Bowl VIII, on January 13, 1974 at the still in-use Rice Stadium.

Fun Factoids: (1) NRG Stadium features the first Birdair retractable roof installed in the NFL which is made of 403,800 square feet of translucent PTFE fabric. The fabric was designed to support a sunlit natural grass field though as mentioned above that was removed in 2015. The retractable roof can open and close in just 10 minutes! (2) Harris County, Texas owns 25,000 yards of dirt for vehicle-based shows at NRG Stadium; and then 11,000 yards used only for the rodeo. (3) The new Wi-Fi system at the stadium can handle 48,500 simultaneous users and took over 30,000 human hours to setup. 70 miles of cables were installed to support the system – 58 miles of copper and then 12 miles of fiber optic wires. (4) Finally, a Super Bowl factoid – the 49th edition (XLIX) was the most viewed Super Bowl in history, as well as the most viewed television show in history, with 114.4 million fans and commercial watchers tuning in.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

Working with Pléiades 1 since the launch of the first twin satellite, P1A, we have noticed that:

  • Airbus Defense and Space is able to deliver on their tasking feasibilities.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about the high resolution satellite constellation, Pléiades 1. We can be reached anytime at (303) 993-3863 or

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here.

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