Scheduled to host Super Bowl LI and related activities in 2017 is George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, according to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Houston’s infrastructure for hosting big events has been rebuilt over the last 10 years or so,” said Ric Campo, chairman, Houston’s bid committee and Houston First Corporation, which manages George R. Brown, a nearly 1.2 million square-feet exhibition, meeting and registration space. “That really helped us nail the 2017 Super Bowl deal.”
Houston previously hosted the Super Bowl in 1974 at Rice Stadium and 2004 at Reliant Stadium. In conjunction with the 2004 Super Bowl, GRB housed the NFL Experience fan festival in all ground-floor exhibit halls (639,000 square feet). More than 200,000 attended, breaking records. The convention center’s third level was home to the media center and other activities, which are expected to be used in similar fashion in 2017.
Planned for 2017 are fan and media events held across the street from GRB at Discovery Green park. A 35-block area with Discovery Green in the middle is branded as “Super Bowl El Centro” because of the diversity of Houston and the anticipated turnout, which is estimated to be about 1,000,000 visitors over a 10-day period.
“Super Bowl El Centro is designed to bring people together, and that’s what we’re really good at,” Campo added. “We’ll have interactive activities for people who don’t have tickets so they can experience the Super Bowl.”
Housing visitors in 2017 will be the forthcoming 1,000-room Marriott Marquis, which will be attached to the north end of the convention center, paired with the 1,200-room Hilton Americas on the south edge of the park.
Houston has also hosted two NBA All-Star Games, one Major-League Baseball All-Star Game, the 2011 Final Four and many international soccer events. The city is slated to host the Final Four again in 2016.