Reliant Stadium is Houston's premiere location for watching live sporting events and concerts. It is home to the National Football League's Houston Texans, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and various other show's and events throughout the year. The stadium , which was completed in 2002, is 1 of 4 facilities located within Reliant Park. It was the first stadium in the National Football League to have a retractable roof, and with a seating capacity of almost 70,000, it dwarfs it's predecessor, the Houston Astrodome, which is located right next door. In February of 2004, it was host to Super Bowl XXXVIII, and the infamous Janet Jackson halftime "wardrobe malfunction". It is an excellent place to watch a live event, whether the roof is open or not!
Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, is located in downtown Houston. It was opened in 2000 as Enron Field (which we would just assume forget!), becoming the Astros first new stadium since the Astrodome. The stadium seats just under 41,000, and is one of the few baseball stadiums in North America with a retractable roof, which comes in handy during Houston's sweltering summers, as well as frequent thunder storms! The stadium was built at the old site of Union Station, the city's old central train depot, which lives on in the form of a replica 19th century train that is set up above the outfield wall, and runs along it's tracks whenever the Astros hit a homerun! Much of the decor of the stadium also has the throwback feel of stadiums past, but also with modern features such as state of the art electronic and sound systems, and a fabulous club level and luxury boxes. The Juice Box, as it is nicknamed, also hosts many events and concerts throughout the year, along with Astros games over the summer. It is an excellent stadium to watch a baseball game, or any event that may be taking place there!
The Houston Astrodome is still a Houston landmark even more than 40 years after it was originally constructed. It now sits vacant for most of the year, all but replaced by the newer stadium directly next door to it, Reliant Stadium. When it was opened in 1965, it became the world's first large capacity indoor stadium, seating well over 40,000 people then, and with several expansions, it currently seats over 60,000 now. It was nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder Of The World" in it's early days, and had natural grass in it for only 1 year before the artificial "Astroturf" was developed & installed. The Astrodome was home to the Houston Astros baseball team from 1965 until 1999, when they moved downtown to Minute Maid Park (then refered to as Enron Field!). The Houston Oilers American football team also played here from 1965 until 1996, when they moved to Nashville, Tennessee and are now known as the Tennessee Titans. :( It was also host to many famous events and conceets throughout the years, including the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Now it is primarily used for small functions throughout the year, and was made into one of the largest evacuation centers in history when thousands of people fled the devistation of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. The future for this Houston icon is unknown. There are many different suggestions on what to do with it; everything from turning it into a huge casino, to tearing it down altogether. But with so many memorable moments taking place here over the years, it's legacy in this town will live on forever!
Sam Houston Race Park is located Northwest of town just off of Beltway 8. It features Throughbred and Quarter Horse racing throughout the year, and television simulcasts from tracks around the U.S. The entire seating area is indoors, which can be quite beneficial, especially during the heat of Houston summers. They have luxury boxes available for purchase if you wish to watch the races in style. The crowd here is as varied as they come. You will see people here in anything from sleeveless shirts to three-piece suits. On the weekends they generally have food and drink specials, which can make the atmosphere more like a lounge or large pub than a horsetrack. It can be a fun experience, even if you are not interested in betting on the races. Frequently after the races are finished, they will have a music concert, and occasionally a fireworks show. Throughbred races are generally held from Fall to Spring, with Quarter Horse races held over the summer months. Parking is $3, and the have valet service for $6, with general admission being $3.
The Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston, is the home of the NBA's Houston Rockets basketball team (the greatest sports team in the world, by the way!), the Houston Comets women's basketball team, and the Houston Aeros ice hockey team. It also hosts many concerts and events all throughout the year. Completed in 2003, it is a state of the art event facility, and has a seating capacity of just under 19,000. A great place to watch any event, but especially a Rockets game!!! :)
Built back in 1950, Rice Stadium is the grandfather of major sports venues in Houston. The stadium seats over 76,000 people, and is the biggest open-air stadium in the city. It has seen many events over it's 50 years, including of course Rice University football games, many pro football games including the Super Bowl VIII in 1974, boxing matches, music concerts, and endless others. Sadly over the past few years with the construction of bigger and better stadiums with retractable roofs, Rice Stadium sees more vacant days than ever before. But it is still one of the greatest places to watch a football game in the state of Texas, and offers some spectacular views of the city when atop it.
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