Sports in Houston
Houston has a rich sporting culture and the area residents are active in many spectator and participant sports. Spectators attend events including teams from many of the Major U.S. Professional Sports League and collegiate sports. Participants enjoy activities from running in Memorial Park to sailing on Galveston Bay and Clear Lake.
Major league sports
Houston has teams in every major professional sport except the National Hockey League, including the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA),Houston Dynamo (MLS), and Houston Dash (NWSL)
Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets) are located in downtown—contributing to an urban renaissance that has transformed Houston's center into a day-and-night destination. Also, the city has the first domed stadium in the United States and also holds the NFL's first retractable roof stadium—Reliant Stadium. Other sports facilities in Houston are Hofheinz Pavilion, Reliant Astrodome, Robertson Stadium, and Rice Stadium.
In 2005, the Astros advanced to the World Series for the first time in the team's history, subsequently losing to the Chicago White Sox. In 2006, the Dynamo won the MLS Cup in their first year after moving from San Jose, California, and in 2007 became the first MLS franchise since 1997 to repeat a championship. The Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. The city's former professional football team, the Houston Oilers, also provided the city with 2 AFL championships in 1960 and 1961, before the merger with the NFL.
|Houston Texans||NFL||Football||Reliant Stadium||2002||71,644|
|Houston Astros||MLB||Baseball||Minute Maid Park||1962||20,393|
|Houston Dynamo||MLS||Soccer||BBVA Compass Stadium||2006||2006, 2007||19,923|
|Houston Dash||NWSL||Soccer||BBVA Compass Stadium||2014||7,000|
|Houston Rockets||NBA||Basketball||Toyota Center||1967||1994, 1995||16,672|
Houston was home to the now defunct WNBA Comets from 1997 to 2008. The Comets won 4 consecutive WNBA Championships, which is still the most championships of any sports team in Houston, and the biggest title streak in Texas.
The AFL/NFL Oilers called Houston home from 1960 to 1997 before the team moved to Tennessee and became the Titans. The Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League existed in Houston from 1994 until 2013 when they were moved to become the Iowa Wild.
Minor league sports
|Houston Energy||IWFL||Women's football||The Rig||2001||2000, 2001, 2002 (WPFL)|
|Houston Wranglers||WTT||Tennis||Westside Tennis Club||2005|
|Houston Takers||ABA||Basketball||Health and Physical Education Arena||2006|
|H-Town Texas Cyclones||IWFL||Women's football||Reggie Grob Stadium||2008||2008|
|Houston Power||WFA||Women's football||Guy K. Traylor Stadium||2010|
|Houston Lightning||SIFL||Indoor football||Reliant Arena||2009|
|Sugar Land Skeeters||Atlantic League||Baseball||Constellation Field||2010|
Four Division I college athletic programs play within the city of Houston, and a fifth is located in the metropolitan area.
Houston hosts annual sporting events such as the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open, the college football Texas Bowl, and college baseball's Houston College Classic. Since 1971, Houston's two NCAA Division I FBS football teams, the Rice Owls and Houston Cougars have faced off in the annual Bayou Bucket Classic. Every June since 2012, the U.S. national rugby team has played an international match against a top European team at BBVA Compass Stadium, breaking attendance records for rugby matches in the U.S.
Several annual sporting events are no longer held in Houston. The final official event of the LPGA golf season, the LPGA Tour Championship, was held in Houston in 2009, but moved to Orlando, Florida in 2010. From 1998 to 2001, the old CART auto racing series held the Grand Prix of Houston on downtown streets. CART's successor series, Champ Car, revived the race for 2006 and 2007 on the streets surrounding Reliant Park. However, the race was discontinued again in 2008, following Champ Car's merger with the rival Indy Racing League (IRL).
|Houston Marathon||January||Running||George R. Brown Convention Center and streets of Houston||1972|
|Houston College Classic||February||Baseball||Minute Maid Park||2001|
|Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo||February and March||Rodeo||Reliant Park||1932|
|Shell Houston Open||March||PGA Tour golf||Redstone Golf Club||1946|
|U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships||April||Tennis||River Oaks Country Club||2001|
|U.S. international rugby match||June||Rugby||BBVA Compass Stadium||2012|
|Texas Bowl||December||Football||Reliant Stadium||2006|
|Bayou Bucket Classic||Varies||Football||Rice Stadium, Robertson Stadium, or Reliant Stadium||1971|
Other major events
Houston has hosted recent, major sporting events, including the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2005 World Series, the 2005 Big 12 Conference football championship game, the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships from 2001–2006, and the Tennis Masters Cup in 2003 and 2004.
- "Houston Oilers", TSHA Handbook of Texas Online, 2001-06-19. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- Guardian, Ian Madigan kicks Ireland to victory over US Eagles in Texas, June 9, 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/jun/09/ireland-usa-ian-madigan-houston
2013 NBA All Star Weekend Feb. 15-17 2013