Downtown Houston gets a makeover for Super Bowl LI

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If you haven't been in downtown Houston in a while, you're missing out on seeing the future. Old buildings have been razed or renovated, parking lots are now real estate for new construction.

It's like getting the house ready for visitors...Super Bowl visitors next year.

At the epicenter, is the George R. Brown Convention Center, which is being adjoined by a new convention hotel. Even before the final touches are complete, the thousand room hotel is sold out for the Super Bowl. It will be the headquarters for the event.

On Thursday, The Marriott Marquis at the Convention Center executives announced a key feature of the hotel - a two-story tall sports bar bearing the name of a Houston sports icon - Craig Biggio.

The Hall of Famer and Astros legend said he gave his own "naming rights" to the business, which features a 30-foot high screen for patrons to view sporting events.

"I've been part of Houston for more than 30 years," said Biggio. "Whether it's with the Astros, or the Sunshine Kids, it's always been about community. And to be a part of what's going on downtown is amazing."

Cranes share the skyline with buildings these days, as downtown moves into its latest incarnation- more than a century removed from when Main Street was a thoroughfare for horses and wagons.

There are new bars and restaurants going in, and the addition of a second convention hotel means the city has increased its drawing power for more large events.

Sign up to volunteer for Super Bowl LI

On that note, the Harris County Sports Authority announced that the next big event post-Super Bowl will be the Bassmaster Fishing Classic in March.

It's projected to bring in 100,000 anglers and exhibitors from across the country. The expo will be held at the GRB, the fishing will take place at Lake Conroe. Once the fish are caught, there'll be a procession of trucks and boats to Minute Maid Park where the weigh-in of the prize catches will take place, and the trophy will be awarded.

"It's only the second time a Bassmaster Classic has been held in Texas, said CEO Bruce Akin. "Texas is the biggest state and our biggest bass fishing market. It made sense to come to the largest population center in Houston."
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.