A Sports Fanatic’s Guide to Houston, from the Rodeo to the Rockets
Where to root, root, root for the home teams.
With World Series titles, an MLS Cup, and NBA titles under our collective winnings belt, Houston has earned its much-deserved recognition as a sports city. We’ve got the Houston Astros grand slammin’ at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Rockets running the court at Toyota Center, the Houston Texans actually putting on a good show this season, and the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash tearing up the field at Shell Energy Stadium.
We’ve also got four Division I college athletic programs, from the Rice University Owls to the University of Houston Cougar; a badass Minor League Baseball team, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys; and Major League Rugby team, the Houston Sabercats.
Clutch City has been host to big-name events like the NCAA Final Four and Super Bowl XXXVIII, successfully secured a spot as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and is currently bidding to host the 2026 World Baseball Classic, which is also known as the “Olympics of Baseball.” Not to mention being home to a lineup of yearly sporting events like the PGA Tour's Houston Open and Houston Marathon.
It’s never been a better time to be a sports lover in Houston.
Houston sports rank fifth in America’s Most Valuable Sporting Cities according to an OLGB report, based on the massive dollars brought in by its NFL, NBA, MLS, and MLB teams and the city’s projected revenue by 2030.
In short, Houston loves itself some sports. And if you do, too, we’ve got a whole bunch of ways to enjoy them.
Sports bars with rowdy fans and the very best screen setups. Basketball and volleyball courts with skyline views. An 18-hole golf course in the middle of the city. A bike shop with weekly social rides and flag football leagues with after-parties. There’s even a tennis club with giraffes and monkeys. Here are 25 ways to get your sports fix in Houston.
Look out for: Private booths and reclining leather chairs
Paying homage to Astros legend and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, this two-level sports bar is spittin’ distance from Minute Maid Park. The sleek spot antes up your sports-watching experience with private viewing booths, leather recliners, and screens at every angle, including two HD 30-footers. Get comfortable and stay a while with local drafts, craft cocktails, and game day grub like Ball Park Pretzels with beer mustard and queso or bison chili-smothered Dirty Dogs.
Look out for: A golf course, sport fields, and in-park burger joint
A century old, Houston’s Crown Jewel Park spans nearly 1,500 acres, earning it a spot as one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It got a $70 million donation from the Kinder Foundation back in 2018, accelerating its Ten-Year Plan to include awesome things like the revamped Sports Complex, with a multi-use sports field for rugby, lacrosse, soccer, and more; two ballfields; and four sand volleyball courts. That’s in addition to its tennis courts and croquet courts, hike and bike trails, and top-rated 18-hole golf course complete with a driving range and on-site Beck’s Prime (look, you’ve earned yourself that burger).
Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill
Look out for: Wall-to-wall TVs and the city’s finest one-pound burger
Each location of this fan-favorite local mini-empire has its special touch, whether that be the buzzy, party-hard atmosphere on White Oak or the Karaoke-loving Midtown locale. More importantly, every outpost is dripping in flatscreens and you can score awesome deals thanks to daily happy hours and game day promotions.
Root Memorial Square
Look out for: Clutch City’s finest pickup basketball games
Sitting just across from Toyota Center, this square-block park sports a sunken basketball court that’s one of the coolest in the city. Balls can be checked out to play under the watch of Rockets legends, and there’s a pavilion to grab some shade and cool off after (or during) the game.
Home Run Dugout
Look out for: The chance to hit a homerun in your favorite ballpark.
Relive your Little League years (but with beer this time) as you hit the simulated batting cages at this Texas-born good time. The concept was born to give everyone the chance to experience “the greatest feeling in sports”—hitting a homer. In addition to an in-house restaurant and bar, the 46,000-square-foot venue has 12 indoor Batting Bays, with a ground-up soft-toss pitching machine, state-of-the-art pitching technology, and augmented reality allowing fans to hit in any MLB stadium, including Houston’s own Minute Maid Park.
Look out for: Loads of strategically placed TVs and an indoor soccer pitch.
Sitting just blocks from Shell Energy Stadium—home of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, the city’s first full-fledged soccer bar is the ultimate soccer fan destination. You’ll find flatscreens broadcasting futbol matches from around the globe (and American football games, too), plus 100 taps, an outdoor beer garden, and sweet stuff like an indoor soccer pitch and sports leagues, viewing parties and trivia nights, and ax throwing.
Eado Bike Co
Look out for: A full-service bike shop with a community feel.
Road Bikes, Gravel Bikes, E-bikes, Hybrids. This locally-owned shop’s offers ‘em all alongside bikes for rent, repair services, accessories, and a growing community of cyclists thanks to its fun weekly rides, from the Tour de Hood to the Ice Cream Social Ride.
Houston Sports and Social Club
Look out for: Co-ed recreational games with after-parties.
Folks who like to stay active and competitive types who take the game a tad too seriously converge at this social sporting club where you’re going to meet your new best friends. Leagues run the gamut from dodgeball, flag football and kickball to basketball, softball, soccer, and bowling. The best part? There’s a happy hour after every game.
Minute Maid Park
Look out for: A behind-the-scenes look at the Houston Astro’s playground.
Private tours of the 41,000-seat ballpark are available to fans Monday through Saturday. The daytime experience runs the bases from the hour-long Classic Tour (with stops at the all-new Michelob Ultra Club and Hall of Fame Alley) and two-hour All-Star Tour (taking a look the Visitor's Clubhouse and batting cage and Astros Dugout) to the 10-15 minute A Minute in Minute Maid Tour for those on a time-crunch.
Houston Motorsports Park
Look out for: Drag car racing you want to see (as opposed to the makeshift ones on I-10).
It’s right there in the name. Motorsports are sports, too. This outdoor racing venue goes full throttle at its NASCAR oval track and drag strip, with adrenaline-inducing events held weekly. Hit it to catch events like the Friday Night Street Night, Fullsize Truck Shootouts, and Import Faceoffs.
Houston Sports Park
Look out for: Dynamo worthy training fields.
If it’s good enough for the Houston Dynamo FC—and it is, because it’s the team’s official training center—then it is most definitely good enough for you. Six high-quality fields (five grass and one artificial turf) are available to be rented for public use, with professional standard sports lighting so you can play well after the sun goes down.
Look out for: Tennis lessons in a resort-style atmosphere.
From Linda and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale comes this resort-style athletic club that got its start as a tennis complex over a quarter-century ago. Today, the family-friendly spot still rocks an excellent tennis program with indoor and outdoor courts, along with multiple swimming pools, a lazy river, sports zone with courts and batting cages, family zone with bowling lanes and mini golf, a bunch of new pickleball courts, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with hot and cold plunge. When you’re done with all that, go say “hey” to the monkeys, giraffes, and mini cows that live there.
Look out for: Party central with hookahs, DJs, and a cigar lounge.
This high-energy sports lounge and restaurant is the brainchild of Michael Brockers, a Houston native and NFL free agent who most recently played with the Detroit Lions. Get your Game Day in with buzzy cocktails and polished pub grub, and look out for specials from $10 Shrimp Boils to 75-cent Fried Ribs.
Look out for: A baseball field set to the backdrop of the cityscape
This storied park is the oldest in Houston, purchased by former slaves in 1872 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. It first served as a place for Juneteenth celebrations, and at some points during the Jim Crow, was the sole public park open to African Americans in the city. Its cultural significance remains, and after $30+ million renovations in 2017, the park now serves as a community center, featuring a plethora of sporting options—that baseball field with skyline views, an indoor gymnasium and outdoor basketball courts, lighted tennis courts with practice walls (first-come, first-serve), and a free summer season aquatics center.
East River 9
Look out for: Golfing and pickleball with skyline views.
This public, nine-hole, par-three golf course is pretty damn cool. That’s because it's set against the backdrop of the downtown skyline in the new 150-acre East River development in Houston’s Historic Fifth Ward. It also has stadium lights for evening play, natural grass, a 300-yard driving range, 12,000 square feet putting green, six pickleball courts, and an on-site restaurant and patio bar, Riverhouse Houston.
Look out for: The chance to see why pickleball is all the rage.
Chances are your knees aren’t what they used to be. That’s where pickleball comes in. The easy-to-learn, easy-to-play sport has taken the world by storm, and social pickleball hangouts are popping up all over the place. That includes choice fun zone Bumpy Pickle, which rocks leagues, open play courts to reserve, and other cool stuff like regulation-size sand volleyball courts, cornhole and ping pong, craft cocktails and on-tap local beers and wines, and pub grub like loaded nachos to wings.
Look out for: Indoor volleyball courts with adults open gym time.
On Tuesday and Thursday nights from 8:15 pm to 10:30 pm, this indoor volleyball training center opens its courts for adults-only pickup games. All levels are welcome to show up as free agents or come with a team to compete in Men’s, Women’s, and Coed 6s for $10 per person. It also hosts tourneys and training camps.
Look out for: Quintessential patio vibes.
Watching sports at Little Woody’s is just plain fun. The easy-going patio bar has locations dotted around the city, and each HDTV-lined spot offers happy hours and weekly drink promotions, comfy outdoor furniture and shady spots to hang, yard games from cornhole and giant Connect Four, and special events like UFC Fight Night, Houston athlete Meet-and-Greets, Thursday Night Turtle Racing, and Sunday Funday action.
Look out for: A place where you can watch sports and bring your kids (and your dogs).
Hosting a series of bocce leagues and tournaments, the OG NettBar off Washington Avenue is totally cool…but if you have kids, the new Shady Acres locale is the one for you. The shiny new hangout has two yards, one which boasts bocce and corn hole, and the other which has a playground for the little ones. You’ll find big screens lining the space, plenty of shading, a kids menu in addition to its regular adult-friendly options, and seriously tasty cocktails on tap.
Look out for: The chance to meet new people and break a sweat.
Backyard Kickball and Wiffleball, Mid–Level Basketball, Indoor and Sand Volleyball, and Softball, Flag Football, and Soccer are just some of the fun leagues you can join from this adult social sports club. Look out for tournaments like the annual Kicking Balls & Saving Pups event and group trips to Cabo (which has nothing to do with sports at all but is pretty sweet, nonetheless).
Sam Houston Race Park
Look out for: Live thoroughbred racing and big beer Friday.
A quick 15 minutes from downtown you’ll find this high-voltage racetrack, featuring live horse racing and betting, simulcasts from around the world, family-friendly events and concerts, and dining including the multi-tiered Winner's Circle Experience so you can catch all the action while you wine and dine.
Look out for: A massive sports bar with a total party vibe.
Thrusting energy into the quiet neighborhood of Shady Acres, this cult favorite sports bar now has three outposts in Houston (and two in San Antonio). Hit up that original location to catch your favorite athletes in HD from the comfort of a swing. Or check out the two-story downtown haunt with features including 50 TVs and a 7,500-square-foot open-air pavilion. For games on a 50-foot LED screen on the back patio, head to Webster.
Golf Club of Houston
Look out for: high-profile golfballers.
Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and Ian Poulter are just some of the golf greats that have teed off at the Golf Club of Houston. The pristine fairway played host to the PGA Tour’s Houston Open from 2003 to 2019, and today, it offers both a Members-Only Course and open-to-the-public Tournament Course, consistently earning its spot as one of the best golf courses in Texas.
Look out for: The perfect mashup of sand volleyball and beer.
Houston is #blessed when it comes to patio bars, but this one sets itself apart from the pack by rocking three sand volleyball courts you can reserve, plus corn hole lanes, 30-plus taps, a full bar and restaurant, plenty of TVs, and a kids’ area. Just don’t forget to BYOB (bring your own ball).
Look out for: Slightly competitive, fully fun recreational sports for all humankind
This friendly rec sports league brings out the competitive spirit without the intimidation factor. Sign up for Basketball, Softball, Flag Football, Volleyball, Golf, Pickleball, and more. The company works with local bars and restaurants to keep the post-game fun going, and it plans on launching E-Sports leagues, too.