Highrise Life: How Did Super Bowl LI Impact Houston?
Gargantuan events like the Superbowl and the Olympics can have long-lasting effects on their hosting cities. You already know that Houston has hosted the Super Bowl twice before: once in 1974 and once in 2004. Despite construction projects like the Camden Superblock taking longer than anticipated, everyone seemed to love this year’s event and ancillary happenings. Forbes even asked if Houston was the best place to host the Super Bowl. But did this all have positive effects on downtown Houston, uptown Houston, or Greater Houston areas? The short answer for you TLDR fans looking to buy at the Marlowe downtown Houston highrise: yes.
The Secret Sauce to Houston’s Super Bowl
Houston luxury highrises were hardly the main focus of the Super Bowl bonanzas taking place all over town. The city of Houston pushed efforts to better streets and fix degrading infrastructure like the Yale St. bridge. The city made the biggest commitment to forging a huge volunteer program to assist with all Super Bowl affairs. Thanks to the help of 2012 Olympics vet Andy Newman, Houston successfully crafted and applied a plan involving nearly 10,000 volunteers to help the big game and surrounding events, concerts, and parties run smoothly.
“We call our volunteers Houston’s ‘Superstars.’ They’re aged between 18 and 85 and speak 65 languages. Some 97% of them are from Texas but we have volunteers from all over the world. It’s a unifying opportunity for them to really understand the vision you’re trying to create and the identity of the event. It has been spectacular. We have volunteers at the airports, at 30 hotels and all over downtown. On our busiest shift alone, we had 4,000 volunteers spread across the city and I think everyone has been blown away by the interactions they’ve been having with the public.”
– Andy Newman for Forbes
Hard Numbers for Better Times
Mayor Sylvester Turner broke down the cost/benefit analysis of hosting the Super Bowl for Houston pre-game. The game had stunning visuals, a huge Gaga concert, and tons of fireworks. Mayor Turner described everything as “Perfecto!”. UH Economics professor Steven Craig shares similar sentiments to Turner saying it isn’t the game that matters. What matters is what the city does to prepare for it. Even though the New York Times claimed that the Super Bowl would see a “transformed Houston”, many were skeptical until the weekend of the game. The city proudly hosted dozens of concerts at Discovery Green, as well as city-wide events. Of course, Houston’s stellar Super Bowl performance wouldn’t have been possible without the aforementioned volunteer network.
Despite what Paper City had to say on the subject of a Dallas vs. Houston Super Bowl war, the city ultimately wins no matter what. We have opened dozens of new restaurants, created open spaces for community happenings, made more progress on the Marlowe highrise, and fixed potholes. Unfortunately, Houston likely won’t host the Super Bowl for another decade at least. The bright side: we will reap the benefits of the 2017 game in for years to come as we continue our football motivated economic momentum.