Sports events in and around Houston were being affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with the National Football League and Major League Baseball among the organizations announcing new locations for events. In addition, officials at LSU and BYU announced that their September 2 football game that had been planned at Houston’s NRG Stadium would also relocate.
In addition, the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston has opened as an emergency shelter, with officials at the venue asking for donations of wheelchairs, clothing, hand sanitizer, towels, bottled water, blankets and pillows.
In Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros’ home series against the Texas Rangers, which had been scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday, has been relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros will be considered the home team and will bat last during those games. The games will start 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday and 1:10 p.m. (ET) on Thursday. The Astros also had a home series scheduled against the New York Mets following the Ranger series, although no determination has yet been made regarding the location for those games.
The National Football League announced that due to public safety concerns resulting from the ongoing emergency in Houston, Thursday’s Dallas Cowboys-Houston Texans game originally scheduled to be played in Houston at 7 p.m. (CT) will be played instead at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The kickoff will remain at 7 p.m. CT.
At the NCAA, officials at LSU and BYU were in discussion with several potential sites to relocate the neutral-site game AdvoCare Texas Kickoff that had been planned for Houston. The game will be played instead at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, starting at 8:30 p.m. (CT). Discussions also included ESPN, which owns the game. “Efforts are underway in New Orleans and we will work with the fans, the Superdome, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and both schools throughout the week to ensure the most optimal game day experience for all,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice-president of college sports programming and events.
In addition to relocating games, the NFL and MLB both announced charitable contributions to address the situation in Texas. The NFL Foundation announced that it will match a $1 million offer from Texans’ owner Bob McNair to the United Way Relief Fund to address the immediate needs of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The total $2 million contribution will support first response efforts by the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way of Greater Houston. Meanwhile, Leslie Alexander, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, announced that he would donate $10 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund started by Houston’s mayor.
MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced that they will jointly donate $1 million to various relief efforts for the damage throughout the state of Texas created by Hurricane Harvey, including to the American Red Cross.