Sports in Houston
Published on 3/19/19
Sports in Houston
Living in Houston
- Houston is home to Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Houston Astros, the ’17 World Series Champions. The team was established in ’62 as the Houston Colt .45s. The team played in the National League from ’62 until ’12, winning the National League Division Series in ’05 but losing the ’05 World Series. From ’13 onwards, the Astros were reclassified to the American League. Home games are played in Minute Maid Park, which opened in March ’00. The retractable-roof stadium seats 41,000. Houston hosted the MLB All-Star Game on July 13, 2004.
- Professional football returned to Houston in ’02 when the Houston Texans, the National Football League’s (NFL) 32nd and final franchise, took the field. The team’s home is the 71,995-seat NRG Stadium, the world's first retractable-roof NFL stadium. NRG Stadium hosted Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017.
- The Houston Rockets are the city’s professional basketball team, competing in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Housed in the Toyota Center, the Rockets are two-time champions of the NBA, in ’94 and ’95. The $235 million center, opened in October ’03, seats 18,300 and hosted the ’06 and ’13 NBA All-Star Game.
- The Houston Dynamo soccer team, competing in the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Western Conference, won the MLS Cup in ’06 and ’07. The team plays its home matches in the 22,000-seat BBVA Compass Stadium that opened in May ’12. Houston hosted the MLS All-Star Game in ’10.
- The city’s professional women’s soccer team, the Houston Dash, was founded in December ’13. The team competes in the National Women’s Soccer League and shares the BBVA Compass Stadium with the Houston Dynamo.
- Professional rugby was introduced to Houston in ’17 with the founding of the Houston SaberCats. The team competes in Major League Rugby and is currently building its own stadium. The SaberCats expect to play their first game in the 3,500-seat, $5.3-million AVEVA Stadium on March 23, 2019.
- Houston is also home to its own women’s flat track roller derby league with the Houston Roller Derby (HRD). HRD was founded in ’05 and is a founding member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Their home team events take place at the Revention Music Center.
- With the Sugar Land Skeeters, the Houston region has its second professional baseball team. The Skeeters compete in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) and took home the league’s championship in ’16 and ’18. The team plays its home matches in Constellation Field, a 7,500-seat park that hosted the ALPB All-Star Game in ’14.
- Other professional sports teams in the Houston region include the Houston Energy, champions of the Independent Women’s Football League in ’18; and the Houston Aces, champions of the United Women's Soccer league in ’18.
- Houston’s racing facilities include Sam Houston Race Park, a Class 1 Thoroughbred and American Quarter horse race track; Gulf Greyhound Park, the world’s largest greyhound racing operation; Alkek Velodrome, a concrete bicycle racing track; and Houston Motorsports Park and Royal Purple Raceway, two motorsport venues.
- Houston's collegiate teams — Houston Baptist University Huskies, Rice University Owls, Prairie View A&M Panthers, Texas Southern University Tigers, and University of Houston Cougars — round out the local sports options, competing in most major sports.
- Houston reigns as a city for major sporting events after hosting the ’03 and ’04 ATP Finals (formerly Tennis Masters Cup), the ’04 MLB All-Star Game, the ’04 Super Bowl XXXVIII, the ’05 World Series, the ’05 Big 12 Football Championship, the ’06 NBA All-Star Game, the ’10 MLS All-Star game, the ’11 NCAA Men's Final Four, the ’11 Senior Games (Senior Olympics), the ’13 NBA All-Star Game, the ’16 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the ’16 Copa America Centenario and the ’17 World Series.
- Houston sports fans are looking forward to the ’19 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the ’21 World Transplant Games, the ’23 NCAA Final Four and the ’24 College Football Playoff championship game. Houston is also listed as a potential host city for the ’26 FIFA World Cup.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research