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Super Bowl LI

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we went on Sunday morning. waited about 1.5 hours to ride the "Future Flight" virtual reality ride. It was really cool, but obviously takes up a lot of your time. Other than that we just wandered and ate at one of the food trucks. Didn't make the NFL Experience.

 

Also on Friday I was checking out the mockup of the James Webb telescope and asked a guy looking at it to take a pic of me and my son. Turns out he was the VP of Space Systems for Northrop Grumman so we chatted for a while. He was there for some event with NASA dignitaries. James Webb is coming to JSC in a few weeks because we have the only thermal-vacuum chamber large enough to test it.

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The space telescope is the coolest thing there. Really amazing piece of work. And, kudos to the scientists that are taking the time to hang out and talk to us regular folks.

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We went there yesterday - walked down Dallas because it is so nice after the remake - and there's no entrance from Dallas! We had to walk through the Marlowe parking lot and along a freshly repaved sidewalk that was in disrepair before.  Not a good look, but I do understand why, as the entrance took up a full block

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A few more pics from last night - the water show held at 51 minutes past the hour is pretty cool - it's a holographic display against a big spray of water in the pond which then moves up to the wall of the Marriott

 

Animal Planet was setting up for Puppy Bowl which will be broadcast Sunday

 

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Edited by HoustonMidtown
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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

Wait wait wait - the puppy bowl is going to be here????

 

 

:o:D

 

Yep - live from Houston !!

 

Here's a blurb from their website:

Television's original adoption extravaganza is back and furrier than ever as the world's cutest sporting event returns to Animal Planet for PUPPY BOWL XIII on Sunday, February 5 from 3-5 PM ET/PT with two hours of fuzzy faces, sloppy kisses and puppy penalties.

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I had a thought while sipping my nth beer tonight - isn't there a city ordinance against signs on buildings in downtown?  I know there's an exception for hotels, but what about the sign on the Hess building?  Isn't that in violation of the ordinance?  And for that matter, wrapping the metro rail trains is advertising something too right?  Or am I interpreting these things wrong

I'm sure everything is above board, I'm just curious if I got all that right 

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The national press is eating up the new hotel and swimming pool and in general are gushing over Houston. Hopefully this might finally be a turning point regarding Houston's national image.

 

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-super-bowl-host-city-houston-travel-0131-20170122-story.html

 

NY Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/business/the-super-bowl-returns-to-a-transformed-houston.html

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23 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

The national press is eating up the new hotel and swimming pool and in general are gushing over Houston. Hopefully this might finally be a turning point regarding Houston's national image.

 

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-super-bowl-host-city-houston-travel-0131-20170122-story.html

 

NY Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/business/the-super-bowl-returns-to-a-transformed-houston.html

 

Even more so, let's hope it might be a turning point regarding Houstonians' self-image, starting with all the city's media and of course HAIFers.

Edited by Houston19514
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The writers for both pieces are Texas based. To be fair, it's awesome that The Tribune and Times featured these stories, but it's not like these are Chicago or New York writers raving about Houston. 

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Was funny reading the press back in '04.  Quotes that I remember:

1. "Houston's contribution to the architectural world is the Strip Mall." 

2. "...Houston's Beauty Deficit..."

3. "Houston is a suburb masquerading as a city."

4.  and plenty of stuff about strip clubs and billboards. 

 

Much of it was a bit harsh.   

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On 1/31/2017 at 6:56 PM, skwatra said:

 

Saw one, too.

 

Have y'all heard passing comments by visitors? I thought I heard someone say they thought it was a cool city, but I'm not for certain I heard correctly.

 

I'm curious if we have it again in 10 years where they'll have the pre-week festivities. Really hoping all the blocks they used this year will be occupied by buildings by then.

 

Lastly, nice chron article on the opinions of some:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Super-Bowl-regulars-give-Houston-high-marks-as-10908871.php?t=20cb3e0094438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

Edited by lockmat

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All I can say is the next time Houston hosts the Super Bowl, I sincerely hope the Patriots are not in it. Go Falcons!

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3 hours ago, lockmat said:

 

 

Have y'all heard passing comments by visitors? I thought I heard someone say they thought it was a cool city, but I'm not for certain I heard correctly.

 

 

Brief encounter with Falcons fans from Atlanta: unprompted, without having been asked what they thought of Houston... "your city is awesome.  Having an amazing time."

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I spoke with tons of visitors during my 4 volunteer shifts - everyone was in awe of Houston and the party we threw....many people who had been to the previous Houston Super Bowl said they couldn't believe it was the same city.  

 

The most asked question was "how much does it cost to...."  People couldn't believe everything (except the NFL experience) was free.

 

Well done Houston !!

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The weather was near perfect, the city was beautiful, and the game was exceptional. Thank you God and thank all the people who worked so hard to make this happen and thank you Patriots and Falcons for a historic Superbowl. Good look Minneapolis matching this next year.

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I met a guy from Illinois. He said he had heard a bit about Houston but didn't know much. He said we had a really nice downtown and was not expecting the city to be so nice. He also said he wanted to come back after the game. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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4 hours ago, placoors said:

 

I foresee the downtown highway reconstruction project as a HUGE necessity if Houston really does intend on landing another Super Bowl--not because of the roadway reconstruction, but rather because the possible privately funded park on the back side of the GRB over the highway lanes that could be twice the size of Discovery Green and stretch 10 city blocks (think of the new development possibilities--maybe start a program, much like we did to spur downtown residential development this time around, specifically for the blocks surrounding the park).

 

Perhaps we would also get the north canal diversion project north of downtown which may bring more waterfront oriented development by the time the next Super Bowl Houston rolls around. Maybe the Dallas--Houston high-speed rail becomes a reality (as well as airport Metrorail connections). By that time maybe the Astrodome would be ready for occupancy again too.

 

A huge new city park, a new waterfront district, a new high-speed rail line, and a reborn Astrodome would surely put the icing on the cake to draw a new Super Bowl to town--a bigger scoreboard, more seats, more suites, and new restaurants or whatever they dream up of doing with NRG Stadium would just be the sprinkles.  

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For those who don't frequent or work downtown, there's a "downtown team", I can't remember the official name, that blows whistles when the train passes and answers questions anyone has.

 

I asked one of them today how it went and he said not as many people were downtown as he expected.

 

I remember seeing a low aerial view of Main Street last super bowl and it was PACKED. Wondering why it wasn't like that this time, or was it?

 

Last SB I wasn't here, where was the "discovery green" location where everyone hung out?

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2 minutes ago, lockmat said:

For those who don't frequent or work downtown, there's a "downtown team", I can't remember the official name, that blows whistles when the train passes and answers questions anyone has.

 

I asked one of them today how it went and he said not as many people were downtown as he expected.

 

I remember seeing a low aerial view of Main Street last super bowl and it was PACKED. Wondering why it wasn't like that this time, or was it?

 

Last SB I wasn't here, where was the "discovery green" location where everyone hung out?

Yeah compared to cramming everyone on Main, there were less people. It was basically the same amount of people mostly concentrated at Discovery Green but spread out more throughout downtown as well as Midtown. Much better set up this time around. Where Discovery Green is located now, they had two big helmets for each team. ESPN was set up there and that was about it. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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1 minute ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Yeah compared to cramming everyone on Main, there were less people. It was basically the same amount of people mostly concentrated at Discovery Green but spread out more throughout downtown as well as Midtown. Much better set up this time around. Where Discovery Green is located now, they had two big helmets for each team. ESPN was set up there and that was about it. 

 

But why was everyone on Main last time? What was there to do besides eat and go to clubs?

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Just now, lockmat said:

 

But why was everyone on Main last time? What was there to do besides eat and go to clubs?

Exactly. That's all there was. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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2 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Exactly. That's all there was. 

 

There was no NFL Experience?

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It will never happen, but I would be very interested in an accounting of how much all this cost. And I don't mean the "perceived" value of exposure, etc. Hard dollars in and out.

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1 minute ago, gmac said:

It will never happen, but I would be very interested in an accounting of how much all this cost. And I don't mean the "perceived" value of exposure, etc. Hard dollars in and out.

 

Not sure if true, but I heard the NFL was not paying for the extra police, and I'm guessing there were some. That's probably a small piece of the pie, though.

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1 minute ago, gmac said:

It will never happen, but I would be very interested in an accounting of how much all this cost. And I don't mean the "perceived" value of exposure, etc. Hard dollars in and out.

What will never happen?

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41 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

What will never happen?

 

A true accounting of the finances.

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2 hours ago, gmac said:

It will never happen, but I would be very interested in an accounting of how much all this cost. And I don't mean the "perceived" value of exposure, etc. Hard dollars in and out.

I agree.

 

it think that in hard dollars it is a net loser for the city and any city hosting it.  Politicians put lipstick on the pig but, frankly, it's still an economic pig.  I would rather have 10 conventions ( which will come with or without the SB) and don't need the "requirements" of a multi-billion dollar society for billionaires.

 

the only comment  that I heard SB visitors say (repeatedly) about downtown houston ( and actually again this morning from some hotel goers having nothing to do with the Super Bowl) was "there is no place to shop around here...".... .....

 

 

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I also agree that I would rather have 10 conventions. But one of the problems with future Houston conventions, especially big ones, is that Houston is one of the few cities with two large public conventions centers competing with each other. NRG Center owned by the county hosts the Offshore Technology Conference, The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows, Nutcracker Market, Houston Auto Show, etc. GRB is not just competing with other cities, but within its own city as well.

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16 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I agree.

 

it think that in hard dollars it is a net loser for the city and any city hosting it.  Politicians put lipstick on the pig but, frankly, it's still an economic pig.  I would rather have 10 conventions ( which will come with or without the SB) and don't need the "requirements" of a multi-billion dollar society for billionaires.

 

the only comment  that I heard SB visitors say (repeatedly) about downtown houston ( and actually again this morning from some hotel goers having nothing to do with the Super Bowl) was "there is no place to shop around here...".... .....

 

 

 

There's no way the 2 weeks of the superbowl is at all even close to profitable for us (taxpayers). The city is picking up the tab for everything. And for this, the league gets all concessions and ticket sales for the game itself. I mean, they do nothing at all. It's a great gig for them, take all the money. But, hey, with cities clamoring to host the event, that's supply and demand.

 

It's not about that though.

 

The superbowl brought a lot of people to Houston who are fans of the sport, and fans of their teams. That brings in hotel occupancy, and rental cars. It brings in dollars to local bars, restaurants and businesses. It's the most obvious and direct way that these events effect Houston. These people hopefully go home and talk up Houston, their friends come here, and then they come back themselves. Maybe some even move here.

 

It also brings a lot of business drivers to the city. You could have gone to Sugarland airport and seen all the private jets. These people are the ones who make the final decision on where their business is located, or where to open a new office. These are the people who decide, let's have our convention here, or there. They see Houston at its best, and hopefully they decide to do more here. It's an opportunity to show off our town to big money people who may never ever come here otherwise.

 

10 small conventions are great, that brings steady business, but the superbowl brings huge wealth into the city, and gives an opportunity that may not have otherwise existed to try and draw that wealth to spend time and money here. Is this opportunity worth the cost though? That's impossible to know.

 

A further benefit to us, would the city have focused so much on making downtown the place it is now without this kick in the pants to look good for the superbowl? There's other amenities and quality of life improvements that we can all take advantage of that are direct results of the superbowl. Great for people who take advantage of them, maybe not for people who don't care to use those things.

Edited by samagon
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Samagon:

 

when you say "the Super Bowl brings huge wealth to the city", can you define that?

 

here is what I think I know:  a businessman, in fact those very same billionaire business mean who own the league, would NOT take the deal the NFL offers.  Only politicians take it and that should tell you something.....

 

when Houston gets a Fortune 500 company relocating its headquarters and 3,000 people from NYC to Downtown Houston and the CEO says: "I came for the Super Bowl and loved it so I moved the company here"....... then I might begin to think that there is a smiggeon of the "huge wealth" you describe......

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On 2/9/2017 at 4:02 PM, lockmat said:

 

There was no NFL Experience?

 

Nope.  There wasn't anything formally called that IIRC, and nothing anywhere close to the dog and pony show that got set up this time regardless of what it's called.

 

The last time around was pretty much the start of the downtown sidewalks not getting rolled up at 6 pm every weekday evening and staying that way through the weekend.

 

The first time we had it, in 1974, it was even less of a big deal - and held at Rice Stadium because it had the biggest capacity at the time.

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6 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Yeah....I would take a Superbowl over 10 conventions any day.

 

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  CVB hosted a number of event planners.

 

It's just a disappointment that the publicity outfit was out of LA.  Houston as the cultural and culinary capital of the SOUTH???  It's a flippin' miracle they didn't come up with a tumbling tumbleweed ride or some such.

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OK, it's been a week since The Superb Owl flew out.  

 

When do we get our street parking back?  There are red bags all over downtown showing Super Bowl LI as the permit holder.

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