At a press conference Tuesday filled with intentionally cheesy football jokes, a marching band and cheerleaders, Mayor Sylvester Turner unveiled a host of Super Bowl 51 events in 11 Houston neighborhoods from the Space Center to Kingwood.
Turner said he knows not everyone can afford a ticket to the big game, and so the plan is to bring the Super Bowl to the neighborhoods instead — a celebration dubbed the "Touchdown Tour."
"Not everyone is going to be downtown, in Midtown, in the Galleria or the NRG Stadium — but we did not want the game to come to Houston without extending the Super Bowl experience into our Houston neighborhoods," Turner said.
Starting this Saturday and continuing most weekends until January 14, Houstonians can celebrate the coming of the Super Bowl with games, live music, local artists and former pro football stars at parks in their neighborhoods, Sallie Sargent, president and CEO of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, told the Houston Press afterward. Sargent said the local artists have designed football helmets that will be on display, and the former pros will be signing autographs.
"We really wanted to touch as many people as we could," Sargent said.
In addition, on the Friday of each Touchdown Tour stop, events will take place at selected elementary and middle schools in which former NFL players or radio and TV sports personalities will talk to kids about the importance of being active and staying in school, along with all the other jobs they can pursue in the sports world such as journalism or marketing, Sargent said.
Here is a list of all the locations of the Touchdown Tour events:
October 8: Mason Park, at 75th and Tipps
October 15: Sylvester Turner Park, at 2800 West Little York
October 22: MacGregor Park, at 5225 Calhoun
October 29: Sunnyside Park, at 3502 Belfort
November 5: Agnes Moffitt Park, at 10645 Hammerly
November 12: Finnegan Park, at 4900 Providence
November 19: Kingwood High School, at 2701 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, Texas
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December 3: Moody Park, at 3725 Fulton
December 10: Blueridge Park, at 5600 Court Road
January 7: Burnett Bayland Park, at 6000 Chimney Rock
January 14: Alief Community Park, at 11903 Bellaire Boulevard