The city of Houston has no shortage of entertainment. With four professional sports teams, Houston sports fans are spoiled with great athletic performances every season. In order to house all of these events, the city has provided its citizens with some of the top sports and entertainment infrastructure in the nation, but not all stadiums are created equal.
Overall Experience Grade: A
Located just 22 miles from the University of Houston, Constellation Field in Sugar Land offers a great getaway from big city life. As the home baseball stadium of the Sugar Land Skeeters, who are in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, Constellation Field is a hidden gem in the Houston sports scene. The 7,500-seat park is the perfect place to spend a night watching America’s Pastime.
This stadium has it all: a swimming pool, ice house, playground, carousel and splash pad, and that’s just in the outfield. Equipped with spacious concourses and clean restrooms, the staff and designers of this stadium have eliminated nearly every reason about which a fan could complain. The Texas-shaped scoreboard in center field helps make any seat a great seat, too.
With ticket prices as low as $9 and free parking available, spending a summer evening at Constellation Field is likely even cheaper than seeing a movie. No matter the route you choose, you will not break the bank at a Skeeters game.
BBVA Compass Stadium
Overall Experience Grade: A-
Houston’s newest stadium is the home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash.
Located just a stone’s-throw from UH along Highway 59, BBVA Compass Stadium offers easy accessibility no matter where you are coming from. The 22,000 -seat venue is located on the fringe of downtown and allows fans to experience a soccer game in an urban atmosphere. Constructed efficiently at $95 million, Compass Stadium is largely regarded as one of the MLS top fields despite costing significantly less than other new soccer stadiums.
Regular seating for Dynamo games is priced reasonably, ranging from $28-$57 (slightly less for Dash games). For those of age, the Dynamo offer special “Beer Garden” tickets that include a lower level ticket, two beers and beer specials throughout the game in the Bud Deck. Beer Garden tickets can be purchased for $38 and a MetroRail station located outside the stadium that allows fans to have a great time and make it home safely.
Minute Maid Park
Overall Experience Grade: B
Home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park is one of the top modern baseball parks in the MLB. Even with the Astros largely irrelevant for the better part of the last decade, a trip to Minute Maid Park remains a top activity among Houstonians. Equipped with a massive retractable roof, fans can enjoy a professional baseball game free from Houston’s brutal summer climate.
Because of baseball’s 81-game home schedule, it is possible to see an Astros game without going broke in the process. Upper level seats can be purchased for just $13, however, lower level tickets can be upwards of $90. Concessions are not cheap at Astros’ games, and you’d be smart to eat before or after the game to not tear a hole in your budget. Overall, the Astros are one of the top teams in the MLB this season, and it’s well worth your time to head to Minute Maid Park at least once this year to see them play.
Overall Experience Grade: A
The Toyota Center is the home of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, and is frequently ranked as a top-10 arena in the league. Despite opening in 2002, the Toyota Center is upgraded seemingly every year in order to remain as modern as possible. When walking through the concourse of the arena it’s hard to miss how clean the arena is whether before or after an event.
Attending an event at the Toyota Center is not college student budget friendly. Tickets to Rockets games have been in high demand the last few seasons which greatly increases the price. After paying for parking and concessions, it is hard to escape the arena having spent less than $50. Concert prices vary based upon the performer, but you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $50-$150 to see your favorite artist. A trip to the Toyota Center is a lock for a good time, but what price are you willing to pay?
Overall Experience: A+
NRG Stadium is, without a doubt, the crown jewel of Houston’s sports stadiums. Opened in 2002, NRG provides an immaculate venue for the National Football League’s Houston Texans and is also the home of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The stadium is the most versatile of all of Houston’s sports venues and will host its second Super Bowl in February 2017.
The venue seats about 72,000 fans for Texans’ games, but can be expanded to 80,000 for performers who can attract that large of a crowd. One Direction, Beyonce and George Strait have all sold out NRG Stadium for their concerts.
Like the Toyota Center, events at NRG Stadium are far from cheap. Texans tickets are difficult to get your hands on and typically start at about $70, only to sit where you will likely need a telescope to see the action. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an affordable event held yearly at the stadium and is a great option for a date or to hangout with friends. If you can manage it, NRG stadium is a must-see in the city of Houston.