Houston, Are You Ready for Some Football?
Super Bowl LI Days Away
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 1/20/2017, 7 a.m.
Houston is less than 20 days away from hosting the biggest annual sports event of the year. Ever since the bid was won in 2013, Houston has undergone a makeover with the construction of new hotels, improvements to our streets, and clean ups to beautify the city limits. Collaborations between various entities have met to ensure the safety and protection of the hundreds expected to crawl all over Houston during the 10 days of Super Bowl LI. Everything is falling into place making Houston ready for some football.
Like everything we do, Houston is putting our signature stamp on the game to make it like no other experience for both fans and Houstonians, which was the ultimate goal of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. Board member Desrye Morgan of Wells Fargo explains further, “We wanted the community to be totally engaged and they were. Between the touchdown Houston events that went on around the city to the business connect program, this community was all engaged.” She added, “If you are not involved it's because you choose not to be.”
Morgan could not be more correct. The number of people that it takes to put an event such as this is astonishing. From the 10,000 volunteers welcoming visitors to the city to the hundreds who have worked behind the scenes for months with President & CEO Sallie Sargent, Super Bowl LI is definitely one that belongs to the people of this city. “This as an opportunity to bring the community together, polish where we are as a city and have something that we can be proud of that is not just for our guests but everybody,” said Morgan.
More than ever, Morgan believes Super Bowl LI will allow the not so known parts of Houston to be showcased in a broad light. As a frequent traveler, Morgan hears the stereotypes people have of Houston thinking the city is just about oil & gas, Enron and those types of things. However, this game has brought out the city’s arts scene, displayed our innovative technology and showed Houston as a city that is more cosmopolitan and internationally diverse. “It (Super Bowl LI) is making it (Houston) more charming and interesting and it has more depth than people necessarily thought it had,” commented Morgan.
Joining the board a year and a half ago, Morgan has been an integral part of pulling things together for the city. She has had a bird’s eye view of how everything has come together and she is pleased with the results. “The city looks fantastic. We are ready to receive our guests and pour out some Southern hospitality,” an elated Morgan said.
So many are on pins and needles ready to celebrate and party at the various activities and events associated with Super Bowl LI but Morgan is more excited for after the major event. Not because all the work will be done but for the increase in opportunities for the city, visitors, business of interests, and events.
Houston will benefit in a big way from hosting Super Bowl LI in ways that we have seen and those not yet in view. Our economy will certainly get a boost with the increased traffic. According to Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the expected economic impact is $350 million for the city and $4 million for various nonprofits. Our landscape has already been made better with more improvements coming. One example is the 97,000 square footage added to NFL hub area in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green. People’s quality of life will be advance with the help that has and will be received. The partnership between Wells Fargo with Houston Habitat for Humanity to build 51 homes before the game is evidence of that.
Super Bowl LI is already one for the record books and the game is still 16 days away! Houston could not be more prepared or excited. We are definitely ready for some football.