Super Bowl LI is sweeping Houston into a flurry of activity, road closures, concerts and fireworks. The big game will take place on February 5, 2017 at Houston’s NRG Stadium, but between the game itself and events leading up to it, there are nearly two weeks of a busier Houston than normal. From frugal budgets to extravagant ones and family events to 21+, Downtown Houston and the surrounding areas will be packed with events. Here’s what you need to know about Super Bowl Sunday and everything coming with it.
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What's Going On
- The actual game, of course: kickoff is at 5:37 p.m. local time at NRG Stadium on February 5.
- Super Bowl LIVE: a 10-day “Houston Pride” themed event at Discovery Green leading up to the game. There will be food, NFL experience games and concerts including headliner ZZ TOP.
- Dozens of clubs, dinners, banquets and parties on the days leading up to the Super Bowl, some of which will be detailed below. But first: logistics!
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How to Get There
To get the game on Super Bowl Sunday, check out our guide on getting to NRG Stadium for driving directions, public transit options and parking information.
For Super Bowl LIVE events, the Super Bowl Host Committee recommends these routes on getting to Discovery Green:
Coming from the north:
Take I-69 South, exit at Jackson Street before taking Congress Street right to LaBranch Street. OR Take I-45 South, exit at McKinney Street (47C).
Coming from the east:
Take I-10 West, exit at San Jacinto Street (769B) before taking Franklin Street left to LaBranch Street right.
Coming from the south:
Take I-45 North, exit at St. Joseph Parkway (45) and turn right on Austin Street. OR Take TX-288 North, take the I-69/US-59 North interchange and exit at Gray Avenue. Turn left on St. Joseph Parkway, then right on Austin Street.
Coming from the west:
Take I-10 East, exit at Smith Street (769A), then turn left on McKinney Street.
Keep in mind as you’re driving these routes that the following road closures will be in place starting on January 26:
- Polk Street and Dallas Street will both be closed between Austin and LaBranch streets.
- LaBranch Street will be closed between Walker and Bell streets.
- Further out, Avenida De Las Americas, McKinney and Lamar streets will be closed around Discovery Green.
Public Transport to Super Bowl LIVE:
You can take METRO Houston’s Greenlink bus routes to Discovery Green for free. The orange, green and silver routes that surround Discovery Green will be available from January 28 to February 5. In addition, you can connect to these routes from Midtown for free and from the Galleria for $2.
Parking for Super Bowl LIVE:
Parking in downtown Houston can be tedious on a regular day, let alone leading up to a 100,000-person event. The Super Bowl committee has worked with the city of Houston to help with this. You can go to this website to reserve and pay for a spot ahead of time. Prices range from $5 to $30 at lots surrounding the stadium and Discovery Green, and $100+ at that stadium itself. There will be 62,000 parking spots for Superbowl events, with 12,000 of them available during business hours on the days leading up to the big game. The free Fan Pass mobile app can help with some of these logistics.
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How to Get Tickets to the Game
If you are one of the lucky ones able to snag a ticket, you can do so on sites like Vivid Seats or Ticketmaster's resell site. Tickets won't be found for less than $4,000, so it's a pricey investment. But hey —whether you’re rooting for the New England Patriots or Atlantic Falcons, you're guaranteed an entertaining Lady Gaga halftime show.
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Where to Watch
If tickets are out of your budget or past the reach of your connections, there are plenty of other opportunities to have a Super Bowl LI experience. You can bet that every bar, brewery and pub in town will be broadcasting the game, and you can guarantee a great crowd if you head to one of Houston's best sports bars.
But if your favorite team is not playing, you couldn’t find childcare or are more of a homebody than a bar-hopper, watching the Super Bowl at home is quite accessible — even for those who have narrowed their TV down to Netflix and Amazon Prime:
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- FOX will broadcast the game nationally.
- FOXSports.com will stream the game for free online
- Verizon will stream it through the NFL Mobile from Verizon app — without requiring the use of cellular data.
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Experiences Outside the Game
A huge array of parties and music will precede and accompany the game. Here are a few key events to watch for — in addition to Super Bowl LIVE, of course:
Super Bowl Opening Night
At Minute Maid Park, this event is held the evening of January 30, starting at 7 p.m. For as little as $20, you can get autographs from NFL members, see musical performances and watch the competing teams be interviewed by media (which you can listen to via a radio you’ll receive as you enter).
Another affordable and very family-friendly option to ramp you up for the Super Bowl is NFL Experience at the George R. Brown Convention Center. This event takes place over the course of seven days prior to Super Bowl Sunday (not consecutive days, though — check the schedule for exact dates and times). You’ll find merchandise, autographs, football memorabilia, games and kids’ football clinics. Tickets start at $25, with discounts available that get larger the more kids you bring.
For a bigger splurge, this gargantuan traveling venue is setting up near the Silver Street Studios in the Sawyer Yards. The Chainsmokers and Sam Hunt will headline on February 2, Bruno Mars on February 3 and Taylor Swift on February 4. Most tickets are already in resale mode for the club-like events. The 64,000-sq. foot venue began construction in December.
The Big Texas Party
Right across the street at Silver Street Studios, you can attend the Big Texas Party. Touted as being the spot for “BBQ, beer & bourbon,” the $125 ticket price will get you in to see musical performances and imbibe on both food and liquor. This party is on February 2 starting at 7 p.m. One particularly convenient detail here is that valet parking is included in your ticket price, saving you the hassle and stress of finding a parking spot.
Taste of the NFL
For those who are especially enticed by food and are willing to drop a chunk of change, Taste of the NFL takes place at the University of Houston on February 4. The $700 tickets are pricey, but all of the proceeds of this fundraiser event go to food banks. You can walk around to 32 different stations, where chefs from past Super Bowl cities will be set up cooking and pairing wines. NFL players will be at each station as well. There will be a silent auction during the night, and merchandise will be available to purchase. Musical performances can be expected as well.