Owls Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Mike Bloomgren

Team Mascot: Sammy the Owl

Year Opened: 1950

Capacity: 47000

City / State: Houston / Texas

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Bayou Bucket

Rival Team: Houston Cougars

Houston and Rice place for city supremacy as well as the Bayou Bucket when they meet on the gridiron. The rivalry dates back to 1971 when Houston entered the Southwest Conference and has remained strong to this day. The Cougars hold the lead in the all-time series 29-11, but the Owls will look to draw closer the next time these two bitter rivals meet.

Mayor's Cup

Rival Team: SMU Mustangs

The rivalry between SMU and Rice dates all the way back to 1916. Since then SMU has amounted a 48-41-1 all-time lead in the series. The stakes increased in 1998 with the addition of the Mayor’s Cup, so make sure to get your tickets when SMU comes to town.

Rice vs Texas

Rival Team: Texas Longhorns

Despite the fact, the Southwest Conference dissolved after the 1996 season Rice and Texas still play a nearly annual basis. The Longhorns have gotten the better of the Owls throughout most of this rivalry’s history, however, in 1994 Rice pulled off a major upset on national TV. There is always a chance that the Owls could pull the upset when playing the Longhorns, so make sure to make the trip to Rice when Texas is in town.

Rice vs Baylor/ Texas A&M

Rival Team: Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies

When either of these two former Southwest Conference rivals are in town you’ll be in for a treat when attending the game. Rice has long-standing rivalries with both of these schools that span over 70 games a piece, so be sure to get your tickets to either of these matchups.

Owls Tailgate Guide


In recent years the Rice tailgates have been very laid back due to the fact Rice has not fared as well on the field as they would like. That hasn’t stopped the diehards from coming out early and setting up the grills bright and early to prepare to watch their team play.

Despite recent struggles on the field, there is still plenty of Rice spirit to be found at the tailgate here. The band and spirit squad perform at the tailgate, which creates a beautiful gameday atmosphere.

The official Rice Tailgate, Tailgate Owley, offers an excellent place for you to hangout before the game. At Tailgate Owley you’ll find a wide variety of pregame activities that will entertain fans young and old. Live music, pregame performances, and inflatable games are some of the headliners of this tailgating area. However, you’ll also find food and activities like face painting, which is perfect for younger fans.


Premium Tailgates

Rice offers fans the opportunity to tailgate in style with their premium tailgating packages. These packages will equip you with a rooftop deck, TVs, and much more. The premium tailgate packages are perfect for groups of any size, as they can accommodate 20+ people.

Tailgate Owley

Tailgate Owley is the official Rice tailgate area located just east of the stadium. It offers a perfect place for fans of all ages to tailgate before the game giving you the opportunity to see live music and pre-game performances. For younger fans, it offers face painting and inflatable games, so everyone in your party will have a great time at Tailgate Owley.

Where to tailgate

Owls Stadium Guide

In Game

Rice is one of the smallest schools in the FBS having less than 7,000 students when you include grad students. The smaller fan base means there is a great deal of camaraderie and passion among the fans. It’s easy to be a Texas fan, for the most part. However, it takes a real character to be a Rice fan meaning you’ll find plenty of diehards when attending an Owls game.

Rice Stadium was built for football meaning no matter where you end up sitting you’ll have a great view of the action since the stadium provides excellent sightlines. The sightlines are so spectacular that it is often considered the best stadium in Texas, which says a lot considering how crazy Texans are about football.

One significant advantage taking in a game at Rice is the fact that you’re allowed to drink alcohol in the stadium.  While most college stadiums do not sell alcohol, there is a special section in the 200 level known as “The Roost” which allows fans to watch the game and drink their beers. So grab some brews and take in the sights and sounds of a Rice Owls football game.

Things to check out

Rice Stadium

Historic Rice Stadium has been home to the Owls football team since 1950 and has also hosted many other historically significant events. The most famous of which include John F. Kennedy’s speech on September 12, 1962, and Super Bowl VIII.

play Watch video

The Roost

If you’re looking to enjoy a beer with the game then you’ll be in luck when attending a Rice game. Beer is permitted in The Roost, so stop by and throw down a few cold ones.

Marching Owl Band

Rice’s marching band is not a marching band in the traditional sense and are in fact a scatter band, which means the members do not march and play non-standard instruments including violins, cellos, and even electric guitars. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this unusual gameday band.

play Watch video

Sammy the Owl

Sammy is the official costumed owl mascot at Rice and can be found all around the sideline on gamedays. He is a lively mascot and will surely put a smile on your face as he entertains the crowd during the game.

play Watch video

Fight Songs

  1. Fight Song

    Fight for Rice, Rice fight on, loyal sons arise.
    The Blue and Gray for Rice today,
    comes breaking through skies.
    Fight, fight, fight! Stand and cheer, Vict’ry’s near,
    Sammy leads the way. Onward go! to crush the foe,
    We’ll fight for Blue and Gray.

  2. Rice's Honor

    Alma Mater

    All for
    Honor, we will fight on.
    We will be fighting when this day is done. And when the dawn comes breaking,
    We’ll be fighting on, Rice, for the Gray and Blue.
    We will be loyal, to Rice be true.

  3. The Old Gray Bonnet

    Put on your old gray bonnet
    with the blue ribbon on it
    And we’ll take old Sammy to the fray And we’ll rock, rock, rock’em
    And we’ll sock, sock, sock’em
    To the end of Judgment Day.

Owls Bars & Restaurants

  1. Upstairs Bar & Lounge

    Upstairs Bar and Lounge

    Upstairs Bar & Lounge is strictly 21+ neighborhood gathering spot that features light bites, handcrafted cocktails, and an expansive second-floor terrace.

    2356 Rice Boulevard fl 2, Houston, TX 77005, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Under the Volcano

    Under the Volcano

    This place has a very cool, relaxed atmosphere and the best drinks!

    2349 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Simone on Sunset

    Simone on Sunset

    The kind of neighborhood gathering for spirits, wine and bites in the Rice Village for which we've been waiting.

    2418 Sunset Blvd a, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club

    The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club

    The Big Easy is Houston’s premier venue for live Blues and Zydeco.

    5731 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  5. The Gorgeous Gael

    The Gorgeous Gael

    The Gorgeous Gael represents everything that is truly great about modern Irish entertainment culture – premium customer service and top quality food,

    5555 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - european - $$

  6. Helen Greek Food and Wine

    Helen Greek Food and Wine

    Greek cuisine different from any thing else on the planet.

    2429 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  7. Little Woodrow’s

    Little Woodrows beer

    Little Woodrow’s Neighborhood Bar is the beer lovers place for the ultimate sports watching experience, featuring drink specials every day with over 100 beers and a FULL bar!

    5611 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  8. Valhalla


    A place for graduate students to hang out, relax and socialize after a long day of school/work.

    Peter and Nancy Huff House, 6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Willy’s Pub

    Willys Pub beer

    Willy’s Pub is Rice University’s oldest and least family friendly student-run business.

    6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  10. Salento

    Salento menu

    Characterized by a blend of Latin American and European culture, Salento Bistrot is a unique urban hub serving a variety of beverages and foods.

    2407 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  11. D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe

    DAmicos Italian Market Cafe

    We are a combination full service and to go restaurant specializing in authentic Northern and Southern Sicilian cuisine.

    5510 Morningside Dr #140, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    italian - $$

  12. Hungry’s


    Offers a diverse array of menu options including seasonal lunch and dinner specials, a relevant selection of wines, a robust brunch menu and uniquely-blended cocktails, all made fresh-to-order.

    2356 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Fellini Caffè

    Fellini Caffe

    Fellini is inspired by the elegant sidewalk cafés of Italy bringing an authentic taste of Europe to residents and visitors of Rice Village.

    5211 Kelvin Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    italian - cafe - $

  14. Cloud 10 Creamery

    Cloud Ten Creamery

    Our hand crafted ice creams and sorbets are blended a half a gallon at a time, with unique flavors and premium ingredients by our own award winning Pastry Chef Chris Leung.

    5216 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  15. El Meson Restaurant

    El Meson Restaurant

    We use the finest golden threat Saffron from Valencia and the authentic Bomba de Calasparra D.O rice from Murcia. Real and authentic Spanish paella; Seared salmon with spinach!

    2425 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  16. Brown Bag Deli

    Brown Bag Deli

    The best sandwiches in Houston!

    2540 Amherst St, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  17. Prego Houston

    Prego Houston

    Prego specializes in fresh, modern Italian cuisine. We feature handcrafted-pasta, house-cured salumi, hand-tossed and wood-fired pizzas and other Italian specialties.

    2520 Amherst St, Houston, TX 77005, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $$

  18. Coppa Osteria

    Coppa Osteria pizza

    Coppa Osteria is the perfect paring of food and lifestyle.

    5210 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    italian - $$

  19. Local Foods

    Local Foods

    Local Foods celebrates Texas with artisan sandwiches made with locally hand-made bread, farmer’s market sides, homemade soups and an all-Texas beer & wine list.

    2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  20. Torchy’s Tacos

    Torchys Tacos

    "damn these tacos are good!"

    2400 Times Blvd, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - mexican - $

  21. The Raven Grill

    The Raven Grill

    A neighborhood restaurant serving fresh regional food cooked over a wood fire grill and served in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. Also featuring a great wine list.

    1916 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$