If you’re moving to Houston, one of the best ways to acclimate yourself to the city is by getting to know its sports scene. This city loves its athletics, with everything from professional sports with rabid followings to local opportunities for weekend recreation. Whether you prefer to watch your sports from a great bar or get out and be active yourself, you’ll find that Houston offers accommodations for every interest.
Professional Teams in Houston
Houston has five major league sports teams you should familiarize yourself with if you want because Houstonians love their teams. If you’re settling in after a military move, you can easily get closer to locals by bringing up one of the city’s well-loved teams.
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team. They spent 51 seasons in the National League before moving to the MLB American League West Division in 2013. They play at Minute Maid Park. Grab a seat in the Crawford Boxes in the left field corner to try your luck at catching a home run ball.
The Rockets play in the NBA. From 1967 to 1971 the team played in San Diego before relocating to Houston. The Rockets play in the Toyota Center. Stay put for halftime when the Rockets Power Dancers take the court.
The Houston Texans are in the South Division of the American Football Conference in the NFL. They joined the NFL in 2002 and have four AFC South Division championships under their belt to date. They play at the indoor/outdoor NRG Stadium. Tailgating is a popular activity before games.
The Houston Dynamo is the only MLS team with a soccer-specific stadium in a downtown area. They play in the BBVA Compass Dynamo Stadium. Live music and giveaways make tailgating here as entertaining as the game.
The Houston Dash joined the National Women’s Soccer League in 2014. The Dash also play at BBVA Compass Dynamo Stadium, helping this city make the most of its prime soccer facilities.
A City of Sports Bars
If you're looking for the best sports bars in Houston, you're in luck. You have several options where you can find great food and drinks along with a good game and friendly environment. If you’re a fan of local teams and looking for a spot where you can become a regular, you’ll enjoy Al’s Sports Bar & Grill. The Live Sports Café is a favorite for watching Astros games.
If you want to catch a game that doesn’t feature local teams, you should try a larger sports bar with a host of different screens covering nearly everything that’s on. These spots are ideal for new Houston transplants who are just settling into the city after a move. Danny’s Sports Bar has 25 screens. Nick’s Place Italian Sports Bar & Pizzeria has 40 screens and is more laid back, so you can root for an away team while inciting less of a riot than you may experience at decidedly local joints.
Sports Leagues for Social Interaction
One of the most difficult parts of moving to a new city is finding a social group you can fit into. Finding group activities near you in Houston are easy because the city has many to offer. If you're a sports lover and enjoy an active lifestyle, one of Houston’s sports leagues may offer the perfect opportunity to make new friends and fill your free time. Houston has sports leagues for nearly any game including:
- Flag Football
- Trampoline Dodgeball
- Indoor or Outdoor Volleyball
New residents can register as “indy” for placement in existing groups who need extra players. Once you’ve made some friends of your own, you can register your own handpicked teams.
If your outdoor hobbies involve a lot of equipment, you can keep your Houston home from getting cluttered by investing in a handy storage unit. This is also a smart solution for college students who want to keep their sports equipment on hand without overwhelming a small dorm room.
Great Local Golf Courses
If you’re a golfer, this sport offers an excellent way to get to know people after moving into the city. Golf courses in Houston are a popular low-key activity, and if you’ve just moved for business, a friendly game is ideal for getting acquainted with colleagues or clients. This is a low-key activity that’s popular in Houston.
Memorial Park Golf Course is a particular favorite of locals who appreciate its long-standing history. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have both played the course. Originally 9 holes, this is now an 18-hole course. If you don’t mind investing a little more in your game, BlackHorse Golf Club is another popular spot, with 18 holes, a driving range, a pro shop, and fine dining.
Local Recreational Spots
If you will do your own lifting and carrying to load a rental truck for your Houston move, you probably realize how important physical fitness is to protect your back and survive the move. You can make your move easier by strengthening your core in the weeks leading up to the big day. If you want stay in top shape and maintain your fitness routine, you’ll love the facilities available at one of Houston’s many recreation centers. Locations like the Fonde Community Center offer fitness classes, sports courts, and aerobics rooms. There's plenty of recreational activities that Houston has to offer.
If you prefer to experience the city out of doors, you’ll find Houston is very bike friendly. B-Cycle is Houston’s bike sharing program that makes it easy to pick up and drop off bikes for quick rides throughout the city.
Annual Athletic Events
Looking for a great sporting event to attend with new friends? Sporting events in Houston are not hard to come by, as the city offers several annual options. Mark your calendar for these local favorites.
- Chevron Houston Marathon in January
- Tour de Houston in March
- U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in April
- Texas Bowl in December
Fitting in to a new city can present a challenge, particularly when you’re moving to an area as large as Houston. Fortunately, this big city offers several smaller leagues, groups, and rec facilities that make it easy to enjoy a quaint local feel even in a major metropolis.