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.

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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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The Houston Astros managed to win the AL West once again, and while things got a little nerve wracking toward the end of the season, when it mattered most, the 'Stros took care of business.

It certainly didn't hurt to get a little help from the Mariners, beating the Rangers 1-0 on Sunday, paving the way for the Astros to secure the division. Rangers fans and members of their broadcast team were none too pleased with the Diamondbacks resting some of their starters on Sunday.

But let's be real, with the division on the line, the Rangers couldn't even manage to score a single run on Sunday against Seattle. That's why they're playing in the Wild Card series, not because of how Arizona approached Sunday's game.

So what did we learn during these must-win games over the last week? A lot was made of GM Dana Brown's comments on the team's flagship station. Brown was hoping manager Dusty Baker would put the best offensive lineup on the field. Yainer Diaz did not start a single game of the Diamondbacks series. But Chas McCormick played every game of the Mariners and Diamondbacks series, except for the finale against Seattle, after being hit in the back with a fastball the night before.

Michael Brantley played in two of three against Arizona, so he appears to be an option Dusty will turn to moving forward. And with the Astros only scoring 1 and 2 runs in two of the three wins against the D-Backs, the Astros need every bit of offense they can get.

Plus, we discuss how getting extra rest for Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, and the bullpen could pay huge dividends for the club. And don't look now, but Jose Abreu is getting hot at just the right time!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

And be sure to watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportMapHouston's YouTube channel.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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