A weekly look at all things Houston sports this week from the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority

A weekly look at Houston sports. Harris County - Houston Sports Authority

They captured our imagination, then they captured our hearts.

Those Houston Astros kept us on the edge of our seats for seven epic nights with head-shaking defensive plays and an offense that wouldn’t quit. They kept us trusting each other and kept us believing.

They took a swing at history and came away with their first World Series title.

Today, Houston will come together with the Astros to celebrate each other with a #HoustonStrong parade downtown. It’ll put an exclamation point on an incredible season and another huge sports event.

And, yes, we’re already working on the next big event – the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship.

Houston was awarded the Jan. 8, 2024 game which will be played at NRG Stadium.

In less than two years, Houston has hosted the 2016 Final Four, the 2017 Super Bowl and the 2017 World Series. The Final Four and Super Bowl together generated an estimated $600 million for the economy and showcased not only Houston’s sports venues, but also a thriving downtown area with the Hilton-Americas,  Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center that’s perfect for a big-event experience.

In event terms, Houston has everything in place.

“Both the Final Four and Super Bowl had very successful footprints with the fan fests and music fests,’’ said Doug Hall, VP of Special Projects for the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority “

“The downtown experience has been great for the fans and the light-rail component connects us with the venues. It gives us the best of both.’’

Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, said Houston had demonstrated it’s mettle for college sports adding, ““Houston is one of the most venue-rich cities in the country with a great, modern stadium, multiple convention centers/arenas and a downtown park that will make for a terrific festival setting for our attendees.”

Hall estimates the 2024 championship game could bring $300 million to the local economy.

* * *

The Houston Business Journal released its list of Houston’s top-20 most influential sports leaders this week and it’s a who’s-who.

Take it from Houston Rockets owner Tilman Feritta, who told HBJ, "From ownership to presidents to general managers and coaches ... I don't think you've ever had it as strong (as it is now in Houston).

As you’d expect, Fertitta, Astros owner Jim Crane, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, Texans owner Bob McNair topped a list that also included two women -- Janis Burke, chief executive officer for the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, and Suzie Thomas, the executive vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer for the Houston Texans.

Others on the list included  Dynamo CEO Chris Canetti, Texans President Jamey Rootes, Houston Golf Association executive director Steve Timms and Joel Cowley, President/CEO of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

For the full list:


* * *

With visions of all those incredible Astros plays still dancing through your heads – one of George Springer’s homeruns, an Alex Bregman defensive play or a performance from Justin Verlander or Charlie Morton – start thinking about your nominations for the inaugural Houston Sports Awards. You’ve seen moments from the Texans, the Rockets, college and high school teams, so make a list. There will the 10 different awards presented at the Feb. 8 event at the Hilton-Americas and the selection committee wants to know what you think.

Go to www.houstonsportsawards.com to submit your nominations and get sponsorship, ticket and table information.


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Texans to hire David Culley. Composite image by Jack Brame

Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Texans will hire former Ravens assistant head coach David Culley as their new head coach. John McClain reported earlier on Wednesday that the coaching hire was narrowed down to Culley and Bills DC Leslie Frazier.

Now the question becomes, what does Deshaun Watson think of the hire? Culley has no experience as a head coach but did work closely with Andy Reid from 1999-2012 in Philly and 2013-2016 in KC. Many believed that Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy would be the next Texans coach because of his years learning from Reid. But the Texans opted for the lesser-known Culley instead.

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