The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) celebrated its 25th anniversary following Houston’s successful bid to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The HCHSA was formed on September 1, 1997 to help keep professional sports teams in Houston, build world-class stadiums, oversee the bond debt service for those stadiums, and become a landlord to sports team tenants. Once those things had been successfully accomplished, HCHSA eventually evolved into the sports marketing agency for the region. Since its inception, the HCHSA has overseen the construction of four major world-class stadiums and secured hosting rights to numerous major sporting events, bringing significant economic value to the region and a positive impact on the local community.
“Over the last 25 years we have been able to build Houston into one of the top sports destinations in the country and a key player in the international sports community,” said Janis Burke, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority CEO. “We built the stadiums, helped keep Houston’s professional teams, have kept our stadiums’ state-of-the-art, and we put Houston on the sports map. We are so excited to share our story with the community and celebrate 25 years of incredible work.”
The marketing value acquired by hosting so many premier events over the last 25 years has been invaluable to Houston. The city has grown from hosting a relatively quiet Tour Championship golf event in 1997 to hosting NCAA National and Regional Championships, NBA and MLB All-Star Games, and two Super Bowls. In the next few years, Houston will host the 2023 Men’s Final Four, 2024 College Football Playoffs, 2025 AAU Junior Olympics and, in 2026, the world’s biggest and most popular sporting event, the FIFA World Cup.
HCHSA Chairman J. Kent Friedman said: “I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished here in Houston over the last quarter of a century. Much credit goes to those political leaders and HCHSA Board members who had the vision to put this project together, and the ability to make it happen. The HCHSA has been a driving force in bringing many new sports options to Houstonians, helping to create new generations of athletes and fans, and establishing a lasting legacy for the community through the power of sport.”