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Houston: Future Sports Mecca?!1?!

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Just an idea:


Houston could be a city that hosts enough of a variety of sporting events to make it a quasi-destination city. What type of sporting events you ask? We need a greater frequency of national events like Superbowls, All-Star games (MLB,MLS, and NBA), NCAA BBall tournament (Final Four would be ideal), and college football bowl games. Internationally, we could attract a major tennis masters series, FIBA (basketball), FIFA (soccer for us yanks) and the big ones, World Cup and Olympics. 


Why all of this is possible? All of our "sports infrastructure" is connected by rail. We have the sports arenas/stadiums and the space to build more (Reliant Park, Rice, UH, TSU, and random underdeveloped areas alongside the lower income part of the light rail). We are currently undergoing a lot of infill of residents, hotels, and retail within 1/4-1/2 mile of rail that will make Houston more appealing for visitors. Lastly, weather surprisingly, since most of the events take place in cooler months, so a good majority would be spared our full heat blast.  


Pitfalls? Transportation is still an issue. If we had built the U-Line and Uptown Line, we'd be way ahead of the curve. Uptown is still Houston's center of retail and has the largest (I think) amount of hotels, which would connect our visitors to more bars and more importantly venues. However, Houston could certainly run extra Express bus service from Uptown to the Red Line and major venues in a pinch so it's not a huge issue. We need more hotels along Main St line. As for as public money involved, depends on how far you want to push it. Hosting a World Cup would probably require at least one more major venue and improvements to the stadiums of Rice, TSU, and UH (already under construction). Hosting an Olympics would require quite a bit more sports infrastructure and transportation infrastructure.


Wouldn't have to be a "Mecca", but we certainly already have a good deal invested in our major pro arenas and stadiums, we have room to expand, and we've been investing in our inner core. 

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