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                                                                                                               Minute Maid Park - Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, Scott Moser

Houston Sports

BASEBALL

Astros  Major League Baseball - National  League, '97, '98, '99 & 2001 Central Division Champions - 2005 National League Champions (Minute Maid Park)
The Astros are a member of the Central Division. From 2000 to the present, the Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park (originally named Enron Field). The Astros joined MLB under the name Colt .45s along with the New York Mets in >1962. The Astros' current owner is >Drayton McLane, Jr., Minute Maid orange juice which has the naming rights to the stadium, also is a minority owner of the Astros. The Astros have had one World Series appearance in their history, 2005 against the Chicago White Sox. They have made the postseason nine times (4 as Central Division champs, 3 as Western Division champs, twice as the wild card).

BASKETBALL

Rockets  National Basketball Assn., '94 and '95 NBA Champions  (Houston Toyota Center)
The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being moved to Houston.In the Rockets' debut season, they won only 15 games. But after drafting Elvin Hayes first overall in the 1969 NBA Draft, they made their first appearance in the playoffs in 1969. After Hayes was traded, Moses Malone was acquired to replace him. Malone won two MVPs during his time in Houston, and he led the Rockets to the conference finals in his first year with the Rockets. He also took the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981, but they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics.[2]

In 1984, the Rockets drafted future Hall-of-Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, who led them to the 1986 Finals in his second year, where they lost again to Boston. In the next seven seasons, they lost in the first round of the playoffs five times. They did not win their first championship until 1994, when Olajuwon led them to the championship, and again in 1995 with the addition of Clyde Drexler.

Houston Takers logoHouston Takers  American Basketball Association
In 2006, a new ABA team called the Houston Undertakers emerged in America’s fourth largest city. It is headed by owner and businessman, Larry D. Leonard, II and Shuwana Leonard. However, the team has since been renamed and will be entering its third season known as the Houston Takers.
 

FOOTBALL

   In 2002, the Houston Texans took to the field to become the NFL's newest franchise.  Bob McNair battled against the NFL's preference to award the franchise to Los Angeles.  The NFL had given Los Angeles six months in 1999 to secure financing for a new stadium, but they were unable to deliver.  Reliant Stadium was built next to the Astrodome and the new team began playing in 2002. 

The new team replaced the Houston Oilers, now the Tennesee Titans, which left at the end of the 1996 season.  Bud Adams was allowed to move his team to Tennesee 1 year early.  The new team had to find a new name since the NFL, in a move that seemed meant to punish Houston for not capitulating to Bud Adams demands and letting the Oilers leave town, retired the "Oilers" name.  Some of the early suggestions included "Hurricanes", "Stallions", "Wildcatters", "Apollos", "Roughnecks", "Stampede", "Toros", "Tornadoes", "Wranglers", "Colt 45's", "Rattlers", and "Texans".   The winning " Houston Texans" name and logos were announced September 6th, 2000.  Fans scambled to buy the franchise approved merchandise. 

There was previously a "Houston Texans"  franchise(1974) in the World Football League.  In 1952 Dallas had an NFL franchise called the "Texans" that failed in less than one season and was eventually replaced by the "Cowboys" in 1960. 
 
Houston Energy logoHouston Energy   Independent Women's Football League  (The Rig - Pearland High School Stadium)
The Independent Women's Football League was founded in 2000, and began play in 2001. IWFL founders began with the goal to establish a quality women's football league that would be respected as the top level of women's tackle football in the world. Currently over 1,600 women play on 41 IWFL teams across the United States and Canada.
 

GOLF

Shell Houston Open    Professional Golfers Association (Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course 2010)

The Houston PMSA has over 100 golf courses, including Tour 18, a public course that replicates 18 of the nation's most famous golf holes.  Various tournaments are held throughout the year at many of these courses.
 

HOCKEY
Les Alexander, owner of The Rockets, has been aggressively pursuing an NHL team for Houston.  Alexander failed in a bid to acquire the Edmonton Oilers back in the late '90s.  In addition to buying a profitable franchise,

Aeros  American Hockey League 1999 Turner Cup & 2003 Calder Cup Champions (Houston Toyota Center)
The Aeros ended the 1998 regular season with one of the league's best records.  After a disappointing first round loss in the 1998 Playoffs, the team returned in 1999 to capture the Turner Cup. 

The name is a carryover from Houston's first championship team (Avco Cup 1974 & 1975), the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros (1972-1977).  This team was originally the Dayton Aeros, refering to the Ohio city's links to the Wright Brothers and Wright-Paterson AFB.  The team was moved to the more profitable Houston marketplace before the beginning of the WHA's inaugural season.  The Houston Aeros, led by Gordie Howe and his sons, Mark and Marty, became one the the WHA's best teams.  After spending time in the International Hockey League (1994-2001), The Aeros were one of six surviving teams taken into the American Hockey League in 2001, and won the 2002-03 season championship.

HORSE RACING

Sam Houston Race Park  Class 1 thoroughbred/quarter horse racing 
(Beltway 8, between Hwy 290 and Hwy 249, NW Harris County)
Opened in April, 1994, Sam Houston Race Park brought "The Sport of Kings" to The Bayou City.  Paramutual wagering had been available since November, 1992 at Gulf Greyhoud Park. 

MOTOR SPORTS / AUTO RACING 

Oreilly Auto Parts logo O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals National Hot Rod Association (Houston Raceway Park)

AMA Supercross   American Motorcyclist Association  (Reliant Stadium)

U.S. Hot Rod Monster Jam  USHRA  (Reliant Stadium)

World of Outlaws  (Houston Raceway Park)

    In addition, the following area facilities offer racing events most weekends:


RODEO

Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo The Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association (Rosenberg, TX)

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo  (Astrodome, Astro Arena)
The world's largest livestock show and richest regular-season rodeo, is presented annually in February. Begun in 1932, this charitable event moved to the Astrodome complex in 1966. In 1995, it drew a record general attendance of 1,810,007, up 12% from 1994, and a record rodeo attendance of 1,068,447, up 8%. The 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo set six world auction sales records, including $500,000 for the Grand Champion Steer. Livestock auction sales totaled $7,516,206. 501 rodeo contestants competed for shares in $634,757 in prize money. The 1995 show attracted 2,047 foreign visitors--many of them livestock buyers--from 63 countries. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is providing more than $8 million in educational support in 1995 through scholarships, junior show premiums, graduate assistantships, endowments to Texas colleges and universities, research, and other educational programs. It provided more than $4.1 million during the 1994-1995 academic year in college scholarships for more than 1,000 Texans, and supports more than 30 research projects in such areas as cardiovascular disease and dietary deficiencies.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo built and paid for the Astrohall, the AstroArena, and a warehouse facility at the Astrodomain complex, all of which it donated to Harris County. Estimated replacement cost of these buildings exceeds $115 million.

Katy ISD Rodeo logo Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo  Cowboy's Professional Rodeo Association  (Rhodes Stadium, Katy)

Pasadena Livestock Show & Rodeo  (Pasadena Fairgrounds)

RUNNING

Houston Marathon  (Downtown Houston - George R. Brown Convention Center, Medical Center/Hermann Park, Rice University,  West University Place,  Galleria, Tanglewood,  Memorial Park, Allen Parkway, Downtown - George R. Brown)
The Methodist Health Care Houston Marathon has been ranked as North America’s second-fastest race, trailing only the Chicago Marathon, by "The Ultimate Guide to Marathons".  Houston’s race, celebrating its 27th anniversary on Jan. 17, 1999, places high in all categories. The book gives it a 10+ rating (out of 10) for race organization, making Houston one of only four marathons to earn the top mark in this category.  The rating is based on an overall evaluation structure, including professionalism of personnel; amount and quality of amenities such as aid stations; pre/post race facilities, transportation, awards and volunteers; and general quality.  The marathon also received high marks for crowd support (4+ out of 5), appropriateness for first-time marathoners (9+ out of 10), and course difficulty (2+ out of 10, indicating a flat and fast course).

SOCCER

Houston Dynamo Logo Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer 2006 & 2007 MLS Cup Champions (Robertson Stadium)
The team was created on December 15, 2005 when the San Jose Earthquakes players and head coach Dominic Kinnear were relocated, due to AEG being unable to secure a soccer-specific stadium. Although all of San Jose's players and Kinnear moved to Houston, the team's name, logo, history and statistics were not transferred and remained inactive in San Jose until the Earthquakes were reactivated in 2007. The Dynamo was thus officially a new team, similar to the Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League.

On January 25, 2006, Houston 1836 was first announced as the team name. This followed an online survey for the fans to provide unofficial suggestions for the new team name, with given options of: Apollos, Bulls, Eagles, Gatos, Lonestars, Stallions, Toros, Americans, Buffaloes, Generals, Houston 1836, Mustangs, and Stars. While the stated intent was to link to the founding year of the city, the team name was changed to Houston Dynamo after the Houston 1836 name raised a furor among some locals of Mexican descent, a major target audience, who related 1836 with the war for Texas independence.After the controversy, MLS selected the team name "Dynamo". It refers to Houston's energy-based industrial economy, as well as a previous Houston soccer team, Houston Dynamos who played in the Lone Star Soccer Alliance and United Soccer League.


TENNIS

River Oaks Tennis Tournament  US Men’s Clay Court Championship (River Oaks Country Club)
River Oaks currently stands as the oldest event in the United States still played at its original site and on its original surface.  The tournament has focused on displaying the talents of the new, young players who are on their way to stardom. In 2008, the River Oaks International was merged with the US Men's Clay Court Championship to continue the storied and tradition filled tennis stadium at River Oaks. The merger between one of the oldest, and last remaining clay court tournaments in the United States, with the tradition oriented River Oaks, created an atmosphere like none other.

   For local tournaments and events check these sites:


COLLEGE SPORTS
Houston area collegiate teams compete in most major sports--

Houston Baptist University (Trans America Athletic Conference)
Prairie View A&M University (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Rice University (Western Athletic Conference)
The University of Houston (Conference USA)
Sam Houston State University (Southland Conference)
Texas A&M University (Big 12)
Texas Southern University (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
 


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Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, Diane Moser Properties, All Rights Reserved