Sports in Houston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NRG Stadium, home of the NFL's Texans
Minute Maid Park, home of MLB's Astros
Shell Energy Stadium, home of MLS' Dynamo
Toyota Center, home of the NBA's Rockets.

The city of Houston and its metropolitan area has a rich sporting culture and the area residents are active in many spectator and participant sports. Spectators attend events including teams from four major professional sports teams and collegiate sports. Participants enjoy activities from running in Memorial Park to sailing on Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. A number of other sports are also available, including nearly a dozen fencing clubs, ranging from recreational clubs to elite competitive organizations.[1]

Major league sports[edit]

Houston has five professional major league teams: the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamo FC (MLS), and Houston Dash (NWSL). Houston does not have an NHL or a WNBA team.

The Astros have won two World Series titles in 2017 and 2022. 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. Meanwhile, the Rockets obtained two championships in a similar fashion, winning back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.

Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets) are located in Downtown Houston—contributing to an urban renaissance that has transformed Houston's center into a day-and-night destination.[citation needed] Also, the city has the first domed stadium in the United States, now known as the NRG Astrodome, and also holds the NFL's first retractable roof stadium—NRG Stadium. Other facilities for major league teams in Houston include Shell Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium.

Professional major league teams
Club League Sport Venue Founded Titles Attendance
Houston Texans NFL Football NRG Stadium 2002 0 71,644
Houston Astros MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park 1962 2 (2017, 2022) 41,168
Houston Dynamo FC MLS Soccer Shell Energy Stadium 2006 2 (2006, 2007) 20,117
Houston Dash NWSL Soccer Shell Energy Stadium 2014 0 7,000
Houston Rockets NBA Basketball Toyota Center 1967 2 (1994, 1995) 18,104

Other sports[edit]

Club League Sport Venue Founded Titles
Houston SaberCats MLR Rugby union SaberCats Stadium 2018 0
Bayou Warriors UBA Basketball 2012 0
Houston Aces WPSL Women's soccer Houston Baptist University 2012 1 (2018)
Houston Bounty Hunters NDL Dodgeball 2009 0
Houston Energy WFA Women's football Pearland Stadium 2000 4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2018)
Houston FC USL2 Soccer San Jacinto College 2017 0
Houston Guardians DCI Drum and Bugle Corps 2012 0
Houston Hornets USARL Rugby league 2011 0
Houston Hotshots PASL Indoor soccer Northwest Indoor Sports 2015 0
Houston Lonestars USAFL Australian rules football 2005 0
Houston Mud Turtles USAU Ultimate Frisbee 2016 0
Houston Power WFA Women's football Guy K. Traylor Stadium 2010 0
Houston Roller Derby WFTDA Roller derby Bayou Music Center 2005 0
Houston Sparks WBCBL Women's basketball 2013 0
Houston Spirit UBL Basketball 2008 0
Houston Venom MLRH In-line hockey 2013 0
Houston Warriors UBA Basketball 2010 0
Houston Xperience ABA Basketball Lone Star College-Kingwood 2011 0
Sugar Land Space Cowboys PCL Baseball Constellation Field 2010 3 (2016, 2018, 2020)
Houston Heat WNFC Women's American football 2019 0
League City Legends MLQ Quidditch (real-life sport) 2016 0
Houston APL APL American football Rice Stadium 2018 0
Houston Stampede WFLA Women's American football 2020 0
Houston Hurricanes NGFFL Flag football 2010 0
AHFC Royals USL2 Soccer British International School of Houston 2017 0
Houston Hurricanes MiLC Cricket Prairie View Cricket Complex 2020 0
AC Houston Sur USL2 Soccer 2021 0
Houston Roughnecks UFL American football Rice Stadium 2022 0
Houston Bolt MLIS Indoor soccer Maya Indoor Soccer 2022 0
CF10 Houston FC NPSL Soccer British International School of Houston 2017 0
Houston Havoc UFA Ultimate (sport) SaberCats Stadium 2023 0

Former teams[edit]

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.[citation needed]

The AFL/NFL Oilers called Houston home from 1960 to 1997 before the team moved to Tennessee and became the Titans. The Oilers also provided the city with 2 AFL championships in 1960 and 1961, before the merger with the NFL.[2]

The Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League and the American Hockey League existed in Houston from 1994 until 2013 when they were moved to become the Iowa Wild. They won the Turner Cup (IHL) in 1999 and the Calder Cup (AHL) in 2003.

The Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association played in Houston from 1972 to 1978 until the WHA dissolved. They won the Avco World Trophy as champions of the WHA in 1974 and 1975.

Houston has three teams in World TeamTennis: The E-Z Riders in 1974, the Astro-Knots in 1982 and 1983, and the Wranglers from 2005 to 2007.

The Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs of the National Pro Fastpitch from 2016 to 2017 when the team terminated by NPF after they becoming the NPF champions in 2017.

College sports[edit]

TDECU Stadium
Rice Stadium

Four Division I college athletic programs play within the city of Houston, with the University of Houston as the sole member of a Power Five conference. A fifth, Prairie View A&M University, is located in the metropolitan area. A new venue, TDECU Stadium, opened in 2014 on the University of Houston campus at the former site of Robertson Stadium. Other college sports facilities in Houston are the Fertitta Center and Rice Stadium.

NCAA Division I programs
School Nickname Major Venues Conference
University of Houston Cougars TDECU Stadium, Fertitta Center Big 12 (FBS)
Rice University Owls Rice Stadium, Tudor Fieldhouse American (FBS)
Houston Baptist University Huskies Husky Stadium, Sharp Gymnasium Southland (FCS)
Texas Southern University Tigers Health and Physical Education Arena SWAC (FCS)
Prairie View A&M University
(in Prairie View)
Panthers Panther Stadium at Blackshear Field, William Nicks Building SWAC (FCS)

Annual events[edit]

Houston hosts annual sporting events such as the PGA Tour's 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. Since 1985, the Texas Southern Tigers and Prairie View A&M Panthers compete in the annual Labor Day Classic.

Every June since 2012, the U.S. national rugby team has played an international match against a top European team at BBVA Stadium, breaking attendance records for rugby matches in the U.S.[3] The U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, an ATP World Tour 250 series tournament, has been held in Houston since 2001.

From 1998 to 2001, the CART World Series held the Grand Prix of Houston auto race on downtown streets. CART's successor series, Champ Car, revived the race for 2006 and 2007 on the streets surrounding Reliant Park. The race was discontinued again in 2008, following Champ Car's merger with the rival IndyCar Series. The Grand Prix of Houston returned for the 2013 season. In motorcycling, the Astrodome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1974 to 2003 and the NRG Stadium since 2003.

Several annual sporting events are no longer held in Houston. The Virginia Slims of Houston was a women's tennis tournament held from 1970 to 1995 as part of the WTA Tour. 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.

Event Month Sport Venue Established
Houston Marathon January Running Convention Center and streets of Houston 1972
Houston College Classic February Baseball Minute Maid Park 2001
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo February / March Rodeo NRG Park 1932
Houston Open March Golf Golf Club of Houston 1946
U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships April Tennis River Oaks Country Club 2001
U.S. International Rugby Match June Rugby Shell Energy Stadium 2012
Texas Bowl December Football NRG Stadium 2006
Bayou Bucket Classic Varies Football Rice Stadium, TDECU Stadium, or NRG Stadium 1971
SWAC Championship Game December Football NRG Stadium 2013
SWAC Basketball Tournament March Basketball Toyota Center 2013

Other major events[edit]

In addition to the events listed below, Houston hosted the Masters Grand Prix in 1976 and the Tennis Masters Cup in 2003 and 2004. Houston is set to host multiple matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Event Host Sport Venue Date
UFC 69: Shootout UFC Mixed martial arts Toyota Center April 7, 2007
Wrestlemania X-Seven WWE Professional wrestling Astrodome April 1, 2001
Wrestlemania XXV WWE Professional wrestling Reliant Stadium April 5, 2009
Super Bowl VIII NFL Football Rice Stadium January 13, 1974
Super Bowl XXXVIII NFL Football Reliant Stadium February 1, 2004
2005 World Series MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park October 2005
1968 MLB All-Star Game MLB Baseball Astrodome July 9, 1968
1986 MLB All-Star Game MLB Baseball Astrodome July 15, 1986
2004 MLB All-Star Game MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park July 13, 2004
2006 NBA All-Star Game NBA Basketball Toyota Center February 19, 2006
1971 NCAA Men's Final Four NCAA Basketball Astrodome March 25 and 27, 1971
2010 MLS All-Star Game MLS Soccer Reliant Stadium July 28, 2010
2011 NCAA Men's Final Four NCAA Basketball Reliant Stadium April 2 and 4, 2011
Big 12 Championship Game Big 12 Football Reliant Stadium December 2002 and 2005
2013 USA Women's Sevens IRB Rugby sevens BBVA Compass Stadium February 1–2, 2013
2013 NBA All-Star Game NBA Basketball Toyota Center February 17, 2013
2016 NCAA Men's Final Four NCAA Basketball NRG Stadium April 2 and 4, 2016
Copa América Centenario CONMEBOL Soccer NRG Stadium June 11,13, and 21, 2016
Super Bowl LI NFL Football NRG Stadium February 5, 2017
2017 World Series MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park October 2017
2018 U.S. Open Cup Final USSF Soccer BBVA Compass Stadium September 26, 2018
2019 World Series MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park October 2019
2021 World Series MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park October/November 2021
2022 World Series MLB Baseball Minute Maid Park October/November 2022

2023 NCAA Men's Final Four

NCAA Basketball NRG Stadium April 1 and 3, 2023

2024 College Football Playoff National Championship

NCAA Football NRG Stadium January 8, 2024

2024 Copa America

CONMEBOL Soccer NRG Stadium June 22, 24, and July 4, 2024

Intramural sports[edit]

Houston has a cricket league for adults which, in 2016, had 30 teams and with the majority of players being immigrants from cricket-oriented countries; this league was established in the 1970s. In 2013 the first cricket club for children, Katy Youth Cricket, was established. The first youth league, Triggers Colts Cricket League, was established in 2014, as was the Sugar Land Youth Cricket Club and the North West children's cricket club. In 2015 Energy Corridor Cricket, also a children's club, was established.[4] In September 2018 a cricket complex in Prairie View was scheduled to open.[5]

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas, there was a renewed interest in roller skating in Houston.[6]


  1. ^ "Gulf Coast Division". Archived from the original on 2013-04-22.
  2. ^ "TSHA | Houston Oilers". Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  3. ^ "Ian Madigan kicks Ireland to victory over US Eagles in Texas". the Guardian. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  4. ^ Kadifa, Margaret (2016-03-22). "'Cricket' isn't a bug to this group of youngsters". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  5. ^ Collette, Mark (2018-07-18). "Major cricket complex in Prairie View is Houston man's field of dreams". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  6. ^ Garcia, Julie (2020-12-02). "On A Roll". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2021-04-28.