Navigating the Kroger Gate at Houston’s NRG Stadium: A Fan’s Guide

Your Entryway to Texans Games, Rodeos, Concerts and More

As a sports and entertainment venue that hosts over 1.5 million visitors per year, Houston’s NRG Stadium can seem like a labyrinth for first-time guests. With multiple gates, escalators, levels and corridors, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when visiting the stadium for the first time. Thankfully, the Kroger Gate provides a convenient and hassle-free entry point into NRG Stadium.

In this blog post, I’ll provide an in-depth guide to the Kroger Gate at NRG Stadium so you can breeze through it like a pro on your next visit. We’ll cover everything from the gate’s location and operating hours to nearby amenities, accessibility options and tips for making the most of your NRG Stadium experience when entering through the Kroger Gate.

Whether you’re heading to a Texans game, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a major concert or other marquee event, this guide will prep you for passing through the iconic Kroger Gate with ease. Let’s start this stadium tour!

Locating the Kroger Gate

The Kroger Gate is on the south side of NRG Stadium, along Kirby Drive. It provides direct access into the stadium’s 300 level concourse. There are multiple other gates at ground level, but the Kroger Gate sits on an elevated driveway to allow smoother passenger drop-off and pick-up.

If coming from nearby streets or lots, look for staircases and escalators that will bring you up to the Kroger Gate entrance. For drivers, there is a dedicated lane along Kirby Drive for stopping to let passengers out near the gate. Just follow directions from parking personnel when approaching the Kroger Gate.

Alternatively, you can find the gate by looking for large Kroger logos and signage in the stadium’s southern facade. The vibrant blue Kroger branding marks the entryway.

Kroger Gate Hours

The Kroger Gate is open whenever NRG Stadium hosts major events like Texans games, rodeos, concerts, Monster Jam shows, college football games and more. Typically the gate opens 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to the start of an event.

Make sure to double check your ticket or the NRG Stadium website for exact Kroger Gate opening times for your specific event date. The gate generally stays open for 30-60 minutes after an event ends to allow orderly exiting from the stadium.

Outside of major event days, the Kroger Gate remains closed unless NRG Stadium is hosting a private corporate function or other booked event. Don’t expect the gate to be open everyday.

Accessing the Stadium

The Kroger Gate serves as the dedicated entryway for fans with 300 level seats at NRG Stadium. If you have an upper level ticket in sections 301-339, the Kroger Gate is the fastest way to access your seating section. Your 300 level ticket will permit entry through this gate.

However, the Kroger Gate can also be used as a general admission point for any fan regardless of their seat location. Even if your ticket is for the lower 100 or 200 levels, you can still enter through the Kroger Gate and then proceed to your section.

Certain exclusive areas like luxury suites, the Touchdown Club and field-level club seats have their own dedicated entrances separate from the Kroger Gate.

Gate Benefits

Why use the Kroger Gate instead of other NRG Stadium entry points? For starters, it provides direct access to the 300 level concourse, so you don’t have to walk far after passing through security. For upper level ticket holders, it’s an easy shortcut to your seats.

Additionally, the Kroger Gate typically has shorter lines and waits compared to busy ground-level gates. Because it’s elevated with a dedicated drop-off lane, entry here avoids the most congested stadium traffic on ground floors.

There are also elevators near the Kroger Gate to conveniently get mobility-impaired guests to their section. And multiple concessions stands and restrooms surround the gate area for quick pit stops before heading to seats.

Public Transportation Access

Taking public transit is an affordable way to get to NRG Stadium events. Multiple Metro bus routes and the METRORail Red Line provide service near the venue.

For the Kroger Gate specifically, the most convenient stops are the Fannin South Transit Center (for rail) and the NRG Park/NRG Stadium stop (for buses). Both deliver passengers along Kirby Drive near the stadium’s southern facade.

After being dropped off, simply ride escalators or elevators up to the raised driveway leading to the Kroger Gate entrance. Trains and buses typically run more frequently during major event hours at NRG Stadium.

Parking at the Kroger Gate

While there’s no parking directly adjacent to the Kroger Gate, there are lots nearby. Prepaid official NRG Stadium parking passes can be purchased for the Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red and Yellow Lots.

The Orange and Purple lots are closest, spanning Kirby Drive near the Kroger Gate’s driveway. For rodeos and major concerts, offsite lots around NRG Park often open too.

Parking personnel can direct you to staircases and elevators that provide quick access up to the Kroger Gate entrance after parking. ADA-accessible parking is available as well for fans needing wheelchair/scooter accommodations.

Promotions and Events

NRG Stadium boasts over 350,000 square feet of concourse space. The sprawling 300 level concourse near the Kroger Gate frequently hosts special promotions during events.

Watch for booths handing out free samples, contests and giveaways. There are sometimes opportunities to win upgraded seats during games too. Photos with Texans cheerleaders and Toro the mascot also occur around the Kroger Gate area.

The stadium’s pro shop sells event-exclusive merchandise nearby as well. For major concerts, themed decor and activities liven up the concourse near the Kroger Gate.

Security and Screening

All guests entering NRG Stadium are subject to a security screening. At the Kroger Gate, you can expect to have bags checked and be asked to walk through a metal detector before scanning your ticket.

Prohibited items like weapons, alcohol and professional cameras will be confiscated. Unsealed food and beverages also aren’t allowed through the Kroger Gate.

Standard security screening applies to all visitors regardless of age. Make sure you aren’t carrying any banned items to avoid delays entering through the Kroger Gate.

Bringing Bags Inside

You can bring permitted bags inside NRG Stadium through the Kroger Gate. Clear tote bags no larger than 12″ x 12″ x 6″ are allowed after inspection. Small clutches and purses 4.5″ x 6.5″ or less are also permitted.

If carrying any bag, expect to have it thoroughly checked by security guards before entering. All bags brought inside are subject to search at any time too.

To avoid bag check lines, only bring what you need inside. Leaving bags in your car or at home makes for faster entry through the Kroger Gate.

Prohibited Items

Be aware of the NRG Stadium prohibited items list before approaching the Kroger Gate. Banned items include:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Alcohol and illegal substances
  • Outside food and beverages
  • Coolers and containers
  • Drones and remote-controlled devices
  • Professional cameras with long lenses
  • GoPro cameras and selfie-sticks
  • Noisemakers like airhorns and whistles
  • Beach balls and inflatables
  • Fireworks and other explosives

Full details can be found at the NRG Stadium website. Abiding by the prohibited items policy ensures quick and easy entry through the Kroger Gate.

Accessibility Assistance

The Kroger Gate area provides multiple accommodations for mobility-impaired guests. Elevators on both ends of the gate’s driveway allow wheelchair/scooter access to the 300 level concourse.

Companion seating is available in the 300 sections for assisting disabled guests. The concourse also has widened pathways and accessible restrooms nearby.

Guests needing wheelchair service or other accommodations can request assistance at any NRG Stadium gate or customer service booth. The Kroger Gate strives to provide exceptional amenities for all visitors.

Arrival Time Tips

I recommend arriving at the Kroger Gate at least 90 minutes before scheduled event start times. This gives ample time to navigate traffic, parking and security lines.

For extremely popular events like major concerts, playoffs or the rodeo finals, consider arriving 2+ hours early. Extra time ensures you’ll be through the gate before festivities start.

Gates at NRG Stadium tend to open earlier for weekend games and events versus weeknights too. Budgeting extra arrival time guarantees you won’t miss the beginning of the action.

Hours of Operation

The Kroger Gate is open for all ticketed events hosted at NRG Stadium during the year. This includes:

  • All Houston Texans home games
  • The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
  • Monster Jam and supercross events
  • Major concerts and music festivals
  • College football games like Texas Kickoff
  • International soccer matches
  • Monster Energy Motocross races
  • Boxing matches and WWE events
  • UIL high school championship games
  • Private corporate events

The gate remains closed on non-event days. Hours vary per the specific event schedule. Consult the stadium website for exact Kroger Gate hours before heading to your next NRG Stadium happening.

Nearby Amenities

One benefit of the Kroger Gate is its proximity to restrooms and concessions stands. There are multiple facilities on the 300 level concourse just beyond the gate.

Food options include traditional stadium fare like hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and ice-cold beverages. Regional favorites like barbecue sandwiches and Tex-Mex plates are available too.

Portable charging stations are also positioned near this gate, allowing you to boost your phone battery before events. ATMs, water fountains and guest services desks provide added convenience as well.

Meeting Up Inside

Got friends or family joining you at NRG Stadium? Pick adesignated meet-up spot in advance since cell service can be spotty during crowded events.

Good meeting places include section signage (like the big Section 333 pillar), concessions stands and gifted athlete murals along the 300 level concourse.

Having a specific place to reunite makes finding your group much easier if entering through separate gates. Just coordinate the spot in advance.

Nearby Attractions

NRG Stadium sits within a larger campus known as NRG Park. This collection of facilities and green spaces offers attractions beyond just the stadium.

When arriving early, check out Reliant Astrodome next door – the world’s first domed stadium and an architectural icon. NRG Center’s fun fountain plaza provides photo opps too.

NRG Arena and NRG Station (with dining and amusements) are just steps away as well. Beyond campus, the Museum District and other Houston highlights are a short ride away.

Finding Your Seats

The 300 level concourse sprawls over 1.3 million square feet, making it easy to get disoriented. Make sure to note your section number before entering through the Kroger Gate.

After passing through security, find section signage and follow wayfinding instructions towards your seats. Stadium personnel are on hand to provide guidance too if lost.

Pull up your mobile tickets early and have your section ready to show staff when needed. With multiple levels and pathways, navigating any stadium can be tricky the first time.

Concessions Nearby

Conveniently located food and drink stands surround the Kroger Gate area. These provide easy access to refreshments on the way to your seats.

Look for signage pointing towards concessions after entering. There are multiple beer taps pouring domestic and local craft brews. Margaritas, wine and signature cocktails are also available at select locations.

Standard snacks like hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and candy fill other stands. It’s ideal grabbing a bite before trekking to your seat section. Cash and cards accepted at all concessions.

Re-Entry Policy

NRG Stadium permits guests to exit and re-enter during ticketed events if needed. If you leave your seats, just remember your ticket is scanned every time you pass through a gate.

To re-enter through the Kroger Gate specifically, find special stadium personnel stationed near the exit lanes. They will scan your ticket again and validate for re-entry.

This allows grabbing items from your car, seeing nearby attractions or making a pit stop outside the stadium during long concerts and games.

Contact and Resources

For additional questions about navigating the Kroger Gate at NRG Stadium, contact:

  • Guest Services Hotline: 832-667-1400
  • NRG Stadium Website: https://krogerla.com
  • Texans Gameday Hotline: 832-667-2000
  • RodeoHouston Hotline: 832-667-1000
  • Email: info@krogerla.com

I hope this guide provides insider tips for easily accessing NRG Stadium through the convenient Kroger Gate. With premier events all year long, this entry point keeps lines short and your stadium visit smooth. Stay tuned for more Houston sports and entertainment advice from a devoted local fan!

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