FINANCIAL TOUCHDOWN

Janice McNair scores spot among wealthiest owners of NFL teams

Courtesy photo

The Houston Texans are at the top of their division and now, a new report reveals that owner Janice McNair is also in an elite group.

A new list, published by CNBC, finds McNair rounding out the top 10 richest billionaire owners in the National Football League. McNair, whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion, took control of the team following the death of her husband, Robert "Bob," McNair, in 2018.

Robert McNair worked as an ad salesman and struggling entrepreneur for years before founding energy company and power plant operator Cogen Technologies in 1984. The company was successful and he sold it to Enron in 1999 for $1.5 billion (two years before the latter filed for bankruptcy), notes CNBC.

That same year, McNair paid the NFL $700 million for an expansion franchise in Houston, the Texans, which is now worth $3.1 billion. Local football fans, grieving the loss of the Houston Oilers to Tennessee in 1997, were instantly grateful.

The Texans franchise is now tied for No. 22 among the most valuable sports franchises in the world.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys might be having a so-so season, but owner Jerry Jones, aside from being the fifth wealthiest resident of Texas, is tied for third richest among owners of NFL franchises.

CNBC puts Jones and Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the No. 3 spot. Each man's net worth is estimated at $8.5 billion, CNBC says.

CNBC notes that Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million. In the 30 years since, the team has scored three Super Bowl victories, and its value has soared to $5.5 billion. That makes the Cowboys the most valuable team in the NFL.

McNair and Jones aren't the only Texans in the NFL billionaires club.

To find out the others, please see the rest of the story on CultureMap here.

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Lance McCullers will make his return on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Photo by Getty Images.

This weekend marks a major moment for the red-hot Houston Astros, as a pivotal pitcher and fan favorite returns to the mound to lead his team that’s atop the American League.

After missing the Astros World Series run last year with a serious and nagging forearm injury — one that has also kept him from playing this season — Lance McCullers, Jr., the fiery team leader known for his devastating curveball and finely tuned slider, is making his triumphant return on Saturday, August 13 against the Oakland A’s.

The hometown hero who regularly (and usually secretly, except when we nag him — even during Thanksgiving) gives back to the community, last chatted with CultureMap ahead of last year’s World Series run. (We also talked his clever seltzer concept he concocted with teammate Alex Bregman and Bregman manager/co-partner Tyler Straub.) McCullers returns during Hall of Fame Weekend, which celebrates Astros greats.

Aside from cheering on one of the most valuable and beloved players on the team, fans can expect three days of memorable fun. Here’s a breakdown of the weekend, courtesy of the Astros. Tickets, as always, are available online.

Friday, August 12: Astros vs. Oakland A’s: 7:10 pm
The Astros open a three-game series with the A’s and officially kick off Astros Hall of Fame Weekend. In a continued celebration of the 60th anniversary of professional baseball in Houston, the evening celebrates the 2000s-era Astros for Flashback Friday.The first 10,000 fans will receive a Billy Wagner 2000s brick red throwback jersey. Former Astros outfielder Willy Taveras will throw out a ceremonial first pitch; the beloved Friday Night Fireworks will feature music from the 2000s.

Pregame Happy Hour presented by Budweiser will take place from 5 pm-7 pm at the Michelob Ultra Bar, with $5 Ultra Drafts, a live D.J., and stadium and skyline views.

Saturday, August 13: Astros vs. Oakland A’s: 6:10 pm
McCullers takes the mound and Astros Hall of Fame Class of 2022 — outfielder Terry Puhl and former front office executive Tal Smith — will be officially inducted in a pregame ceremony that will begin at 5:30 pm. The first 10,000 fans will also receive a Terry Puhl bobblehead.

Continue on CultureMap to see what the Astros have in store for Sunday.

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