John O’Quinn Field at Corbin J. Robertson Stadium, often referred to as simply Robertson Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Houston located on the campus of the University of Houston. It is the home of the Houston Cougars football and women’s soccer teams. The stadium also hosts home games for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, which began play in the 2006 season.
The stadium hosted the Houston Oilers during the first five years of their existence from 1960 to 1964. On January 1, 1961, it hosted the American Football League Championship Game (for the 1960 title). The Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Chargers (24–16) to become the league’s first champions. It was also the site for pro football’s first ever double-overtime game on December 23, 1962. The Oilers lost to the Dallas Texans (20–17) in that year’s AFL title game. This was the only overtime game in the 10-year history of the AFL.
As of 2006, the capacity of Robertson Stadium is 32,000. The stadium’s record attendance in the current capacity was set at 32,114, when Houston defeated Texas Tech 29-28 on September 26, 2009.
In March 1940 the Houston Independent School District (HISD) purchased the site for a stadium from the Settegast Estate for $75,550.16. Another seven acres was acquired soon thereafter to bring the original site total to 59.7939 acres. The area of land is now bound by Holman Street, Wheeler Street, Scott Street, and Cullen Boulevard.
The stadium was then constructed as a joint project between HISD and the Works Progress Administration by the Fretz Construction Company.Named the "Public School Stadium", it was completed in 1942, and had a seating capacity of 20,500. Public School Fieldhouse (later known as Jeppesen Gymnasium), a multi-purpose indoor arena which was constructed simultaneously, stood alongside. The stadium’s first game was held before a crowd of 14,500 on September 18, 1942, when Houston’s Lamar High School defeated Dallas’ W. H. Adamson High School 27-7.
HISD football games continued to be played at the stadium when the Houston Cougars football team played their inaugural game in front of a crowd of 11,000 with Southwestern Louisiana (now known as Louisiana–Lafayette). The University of Houston continued to host home football games there from 1946 to 1950 before moving to Houston Stadium in 1951 and then to the Astrodome in 1965. Prior to the 1957 football season, HISD changed policy at the stadium to disallow any teams with black students to play there despite this being previously allowed without issue. In 1958, the school district renamed the stadium "Jeppesen Stadium" for school board member Holger Jeppesen, who had vigorously lobbied for its construction.
In 1960, the Houston Oilers began play as a charter member of the American Football League, and arranged to lease the stadium from HISD as their home stadium. The team was owned by Bud Adams, a wealthy Houston oilman who upgraded Jeppesen Stadium for professional football use. Part of Adams’ upgrades were expanding the seating capacity to 36,000. This allowed for the largest attendance for the stadium ever of 37,981 when the Dallas Texans competed against the Oilers on December 23, 1962 for that year’s AFL title game. At this time HISD continued its use of the stadium with an average of ten games per week. The Oilers remained at Jeppesen until 1964, when they moved onto Rice Stadium.
In 1966, the University of Houston developed a master plan that emphasized the acquisition of the stadium.