Houston's big annual bowl game just got a major boost.
Starting next year, the Texas Bowl will pit teams from the Big 12 and the SEC against one another. The SEC, easily one of the top NCAA football conferences, replaces the Big 10.
"We are proud and excited to welcome the SEC to the Texas Bowl," says Texans president Jamey Rootes."Today represents another important milestone in our quest to make the Texas Bowl an elite college football event, which is a source of pride for the city of Houston and a cherished annual tradition for football fans across the region."
The game is played close to New Years each year, acting as an anchor for the big holiday weekend. The new, six-year deal calls for the bowl to get the 4th selection from the Big 12 after the playoff bowls have made their selection while the SEC selection will be part of a pool with other bowls. The change is especially significant considering many of the SEC teams are within a relatively easy driving distance to Houston. That could mean more ticket sales and an increase in travel to Houston.
The Texas Bowl was previously the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The deal with Meineke has ended and bowl officials are looking for a new title sponsor.
The 2013 Texas Bowl will be played Friday, Dec. 27. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with a 5 pm kickoff.
The Super Bowl is returning to Houston in 2017.
NFL owners awarded Super Bowl LI to Houston on Tuesday in Boston. Houston won in a vote over South Florida after San Francisco won Super Bowl L in 2016.
The biggest single game in American sports will be played at Reliant Stadium in February 2017 bringing a multitude of visitors, unprecedented global media attention and tremendous economic impact to Houston.
This is the third Super Bowl for Houston. The city last hosted the big game at Reliant Stadium in 2004.
The Houston Super Bowl Bid Committee, led by chairman Ric Campo, submitted its final bid to each of the NFL owners on May 8. Campo and NRG Energy CEO David Crane made their final presentation in Boston on Tuesday afternoon.
Houston's bid included several novel concepts, including a 10-day festival leading up to the game called "Super Bowl El Centro." Houston will invite fans from cities all over Texas and Mexico for events during the week.
The hub for many Super Bowl activities will be Discovery Green, the 12-acre Downtown park that fronts the Geore R. Brown Convention Center.
Texas Tech's Red Raiders will face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
The game is set for an 8 pm kickoff at Houston's Reliant Stadium on Friday, December 28.
The Big 12 Red Raiders finished the season with a 7-5 record. The Big 10 Minnesota Gophers were 6-6 this season. This will be the first Meineke Bowl for both teams.
The Meineke Car Care Bowl, previously known as the Texas Bowl, has been played since 2006. Last year, Texas A&M defeated Northwestern 33-22 in the bowl game in front of 68,395 people at Reliant.
Bowl game tickets are on sale now.
The Houston Texans will be prepping for prime time next season.
The NFL franchise will play five games on national TV, the most the team a team can have in a single season.
The national TV schedule for 2012 NFL games was released April 17. It has the Texans playing two Sunday night football games - Oct. 14 at home vs. the Green Bay Packers and Nov. 11 at Chicago.
The Texans will also have a Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit and two Monday night football games - vs. the New York Jets on Oct. 8 and Dec. 10 against the New England Patriots.
See the full 2012 Texans schedule.
A newly released study shows the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, which pitted Texas A&M football against Northwestern University, generated roughly $17.5 million in direct spending and a total economic impact of $29.3 million for the city of Houston.
Strategic Marketing Services worked with bowl game officials and the Greater Houston Convention Center and Visitors Bureau on the economic impact analysis. The group conducted 462 surveys at the game and in the Galleria during game weekend, representing 1,874 people.
The 2011 game drew an estimated 68,395 fans, higher than the bowl's average attendance of 62,000. Out-of-town visitors booked 23,647 hotel rooms for the game, and media, sponsors and teams spending was $2.7 million.
Since the bowl began in 2006, its average economic impact has been $25 million each year.
"We want to make this Houston's bowl game, and the economic figures help illustrate the impact that the bowl has on the entire Houston community and will continue to have as it grows," said Heather Houston, the executive director of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
"This study validates what we always knew about the value of the bowl game to the local community," said Greg Ortale, the president and CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The game is already well on its way to becoming a family tradition, one that brings visitors and important dollars to hoteliers, restaurants and other businesses at a critical time. We are very proud of the work done by the Meineke Care Care Bowl of Texas to promote the City of Houston."
Good news golfers… and wannabe golfers. Illinois-based TopGolf is opening a 65,000 square foot facility in Houston. Though company brass remains mum on where the new entertainment complex is setting up shop, they will confirm that it’s scheduled to open in October 2012.
For those new to the TopGolf experience, it’s basically an over-the-top, state-of-the-art driving range that brings together groups for golfing, dining and drinking. The concept replaces traditional golf balls and with microchip-equipped golf balls and greens with skee-ball like target rings that allow each player to keep score. Better yet. Watch TopGolf's video explanation on YouTube.
For more information, click here
In some cities, people enjoy an occasional ballgame. In other cities, professional sports are woven into the fabric of the community. Houston is one of the latter cities.
Whether it's tailgating for a Texans game or cheering on the Rockets courtside, Houstonians are some of the most avid sports fans around. Small wonder then that excitement is building this spring for two major events in local pro sports: the 50th anniversary of the Houston Astros and the debut of the Houston Dynamo's brand new stadium.
It's already been an exciting 2012 for the Astros. New owner Jim Crane took control of the team in January and after briefly entertaining the idea of a new name for the club (it's not happening folks, chill out), Crane announced lower ticket prices and other fan-friendly changes such as allowing outside food into the ballpark and a couple of tailgates this season.
And since this is the ball club's 50th year, the Astros take a look back at baseball in 2012. During Friday home games, the team will wear throw-back jerseys that represent different eras in the franchise. Flashback Fridays will also include pregame ceremonies, special ticket pricing, in-game entertainment and fireworks. Throughout the season, the team will invite various former players to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. There will also be commemorative items available honoring the 50-year mark and an Astros All-Time 25-man roster will be determined by online fan voting at astros.com.
The Astros Opening Weekend series is April 6-8 against the Rockies.
Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo will host their first game inside the new BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12. The new state-of-the-art 22,000-seat stadium will be the first soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer located in a city's downtown district.
The fan experience will get amped up with modern sound and video elements throughout the stadium. Fully integrated broadcast facilities will allow viewers and listeners outside the stadium to feel part of the atmosphere.
Aside from Major League Soccer and international soccer matches, BBVA Compass Stadium will also host Texas Southern University football, concerts, boxing matches, and more. And with its downtown location, the new stadium adds to the Stadium District that already features Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center, as well as the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, and The House of Blues.
Get your Astros tickets and Dynamo tickets now.
It was just three months ago that Houston was bustling with athletes over-50 from across the U.S. for the 2011 Summer National Senior Games. Now the organizers of that two-week event are getting high praise for its execution.
SportsTravel magazine named the 2011 Senior Games the best amateur multi-sport/multi discipline event for the year at the TEAMS Conference & Expo recently held in Las Vegas.
The 2011 Summer National Senior Games included more than 10,000 athletes competing in 18 sports at 13 separate venues across the Houston area from June 16. The biennial event is the world’s largest multi-sport event for male and female athletes over the age of 50.
“Our readers are the leaders of the sports-event industry, and they really know what it takes to execute high-quality athletic events,” said Timothy Schneider, publisher of SportsTravel. “This award reflects their expert evaluation that the Senior Games is one of the absolute best sporting events.”
In accepting the award, Becky Wesley, vice president of association relations for the National Senior Games Association, recognized the association’s staff as well as the Houston Local Organizing Committee, the Harris County Sports Commission and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which booked the games and assisted in the execution.
The National Senor Games Association, a nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee, is a leader in promoting education, fitness and sport for those 50 and over. The National Senior Games are held biennially; the 2013 games will be held in Cleveland, Ohio.