Sports and Recreation
Houston is a city that loves sports, from professional to college to interscholastic to personal. Year-round, the weather lends itself to sports, and Houstonians take advantage of it.
Sports fans are right at home with Houston's professional teams. Amateur sports are popular too, with a full slate of leagues. Many sports programs start at the elementary level and run through college.
Houston fans have many choices when it comes to watching professional teams:
- In basketball we have the Houston Rockets, two-time NBA champions.
- In soccer, we have the 2006 and 2007 MLS champions the Houston Dynamo
- The Rockets moved to Toyota Center, which opened in Fall 2003, near the Convention Center and Convention Center Hotel
- In baseball we have the Houston Astros, who've played at Minute Maid Park since March 2000.
- Houston's NFL team, the Houston Texans, held their first game in August 2002 in NRG Stadium.
- The annual college football Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium.
Houston hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004 at NRG Stadium, while Rice Stadium hosted Super Bowl VIII on January 13, 1974. And Houston has been selected as host city of the baseball (2004 at Minute Maid Park) and basketball (2005 and 2013 at the Toyota Center) All Star Games, along with home games for Games 3 and 4 of the 2005 World Series versus the Chicago White Sox, while NRG Stadium is the venue for the 2011 and 2016 NCAA Final Four and the 2017 Super Bowl.
Colleges and universities in the Houston area have a number of well-loved teams, including football, baseball, basketball and track and field. Some of Houston's major collegiate teams are:
- Rice University Owls
- University of Houston Cougars
- Houston Baptist University Huskies
- Texas Southern University Tigers
- San Jacinto College Gators
Other options are available for sports enthusiasts. From March to September, the City of Houston has 550 softball teams that hit the diamonds. From September to November, 30 football teams compete in flag football. From November to February, basketball season pulls 175 teams. For more information about these activities as well as the numerous sporting clubs available, visit the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department also has the Houston Youth Diamond Sports League. Affiliated with Major League Baseball's RBI program (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities), the program offers youth, ages 4-18, an opportunity to participate in T-ball, baseball and girls' softball at all skill levels. For teams that qualify, there is an opportunity to compete in the World Series competition. Players also are eligible to be selected for the Major League Baseball National Team, which competes in the amateur Baseball World Championship Tournament.
In addition, hundreds of recreation centers, swimming pools and tennis courts are maintained by neighborhood subdivisions.