Kats, Air Force to open series at NRG Stadium in 2023

Sam Houston State Football
Sam Houston State Football(KBTX)
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 12:34 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Sam Houston football has played annually at NRG Stadium since 2010 and that will continue into the FBS and the 2023 season after the program announced a home-and-home series with Air Force.

The 2-game series will be the first meetings ever between the Bearkats and Falcons and will begin September 9, 2023 at NRG Stadium. Sam Houston will return the game on September 13, 2025 when it travels to Colorado Springs for a game at Falcon Stadium on the United States Air Force Academy campus.  

The Kats will be considered the home team for the game in Houston, similar to the alternating home/visitor format it has had with the Battle of the Piney Woods. The 2023 game in Houston will be considered a home game for Sam Houston, a venue the Kats first started playing at in 2010 when it joined forces with Stephen F. Austin and Lone Star Sports and Entertainment to move the Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry to NRG Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Since then, the Kats and Lumberjacks have battled there each year - except for the COVID-altered 2020 season – with Sam Houston winning 11 of those 12 meetings, including each of the past 11 after a 17-16 win earlier this year.

The Kats are slated to begin play as a Conference USA member in the fall of 2023 and have now secured home-and-home series with Hawai’i, Colorado State, Georgia Southern and Troy in future years.

The 2023 game also gives Sam Houston three games finalized for its schedule next year, starting with the season opener at BYU on September 2 and a September 23 game at Houston.  

Information regarding ticketing for all games in 2023, including the game vs Air Force at NRG Stadium, will come at a later date.