In what appears to be a bid to get more people to pronounce Houston’s major industry in a stilted quasi-drawl, the parent company of Reliant Energy has decided to rebrand Reliant Stadium and Reliant Park. The Houston Chronicle‘s Kiah Collier reports that henceforth (or after a vote by county commissioners at least) they shall be known as NRG Stadium and NRG Park. Collier’s sources don’t seem to have mentioned whether the name-change will result in similar switches for the other structures in the sports-and-convention complex, labeled the Reliant Center, Reliant Arena, and Reliant Astrodome since 2002.
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The New Old Home of the Texans, Etc.
Justin Turner of the cheddar-colored, school-themed burger bus — a frequent visitor to the can-you-hear-me-above-the-generators Houston Food Park in East Downtown — tells Eater Houston that he’s planning to open 3 non-wheeled restaurants in the next 5 years. That’s in addition to the stand he set up at Sections 114 and 115 inside Reliant Stadium to cook patties while the Texans play. Bernie’s will still operate 3 buses to serve close-in ’hoods, but it appears that all the restaurants will be outside the Loop: The first to open, says Turner, will be on Bellaire west of 610, the second in Katy, and the third “another place out in the ‘burbs.”
Photo of Bernie’s Burger Bus at Inversion at 1953 Montrose Blvd: Yelp user Jason T.
Who says Houston isn’t fast-paced and funky when the sun goes down? If you’ve got a minute, check out this time-lapse video made by Spenser Harrison. It takes in all the lit-up hotspots in H-Town: Main St., the Galleria, Reliant Stadium — heck, even the Pierce Elevated!
Video: Spenser Harrison
SUPER BOWL FEVER SPEEDING UP ASTRODOME DECIDERS If it seems kinda arbitrary and sorta abrupt, that June 10 now-or-never deadline for Astrodome ideas that the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation set, it might be because another deadline is looming larger: February 2017, when Reliant Stadium will play host to the Super Bowl. Kiah Collier reports that once the Commissioners Court hears back from the various county agencies asked to study the $194 million plan to convert the Dome into a convention center, a public vote could happen as early as November. Still, that would give the county only 39 months before the big game to execute the conversion that’s estimated to take at least 30. Judge Ed Emmett tells Collier: “If we don’t have it this year [the New Dome Experience] won’t be ready in time for the Final Four and the Super Bowl and I hate to miss those opportunities.” [Houston Politics; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: HCSCC
COULD THE X GAMES BE COMING TO HOUSTON? Even if the Astrodome’s still around and Houston’s bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl falls through, an important international competition might still be staged here: “ESPN said in January [that] Houston was one of 13 contenders it was considering as a host” for the 2014-2016 X Games, reports the Houston Business Journal’s Bayan Raji. The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark on Sabine St. (shown here) is at the center of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority bid to put on the tricksters’ event that’s been in L.A. the past 9 years, writes Raji, along with Reliant Stadium and the Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium. Whether the skatepark going up in Greenspoint, billed in January as the largest in the U.S., also figures in the bid Raji doesn’t say; ESPN will announce which of the 13 cities are finalists this spring. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo: David Fross
The Astrodome at last has a new purpose, the managers of Reliant Park have announced. The 47-year-old flexible sports stadium will serve as a storage facility for neighboring Reliant Stadium’s new $1.2 million new-generation AstroTurf when it’s not being used on the Houston Texans’ home field. Reliant Stadium’s actual-grass-on-trays field will now be reserved for professional football; the artificial surface will be rolled out there for high-school and college football games and other events.
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