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

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.