SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2018

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August 2018 12 www.sportseventsmagazine.com and 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four games, was chosen as the site of the 2023 NCAA Men's Final Four. Houston has hosted three NCAA Regionals at NRG and will host a 2020 Regional at Toyota Center. Other cities chosen to host Final Fours include Phoenix in 2024, San Antonio in 2025 and Indianapolis in 2026. Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke said, "Houston's on a roll. We are part of the winning 2026 World Cup bid and the College Football Playoffs, and we just successfully hosted not only the 2016 Final Four but also Super Bowl LI. This proves we know how to host multiple big events in succes- sion. But this (2023 Men's Final Four) is more than just an event. It's an event that leaves a lasting impact on the city. We were able to implement and enhance programs across the city during the 2016 event." In 2016, Houston debuted the NCAA Men's Final Four Read to the Final Four program; 68 Houston Independent School District (ISD) campuses partic- ipated in the literacy program. The area also partnered with Lowe's, Connor Sports and Spalding to renovate the Jim and Barbara Morefield Boys & Girls Club with a new basket- ball court, new baskets, wall padding and bleachers. The 2016 NCAA event drew a capacity crowd of 165,000 to Discovery Green for the March Madness Music Festival; 2,200 runners for the Final Four 4 Miler; and 3,400 participated in the Final Four Dribble through downtown. In recent months, the Harris County – Houston Sports Au- thority and the City of Houston held Olympic Day; honored the first-ever Nigerian Olympic bobsled team; and watched USA Rugby defeat Scotland at BBVA Compass Stadium for biggest win for the U.S. Men's National Team in 94 years. The city has been awarded the 2021 World Transplant Games, the 2020 U.S. Women's Open (golf) and the 2024 Col- lege Football Playoff National Championship, and will be part of the 2026 united World Cup. Wichita Selected to Host 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Regional Rounds WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita has been selected to host the 2022 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Women's Basketball Cham- pionship Regional rounds. The games are scheduled for March 25 – 28, 2022. Wichita State University (WSU) will host the event at INTRUST Bank Arena, in part- nership with Visit Wichita, ► t SPORTS Talk HOUSTON — The inaugural Houston Sports Hall of Fame (HSHOF) class was recently rec- ognized during a ring presentation and Walk of Fame unveiling at GreenStreet near the House of Blues. The inaugural HOF class includes Hakeem Olajuwon, Earl Campbell and Nolan Ryan. The athletes received a Hall of Fame ring and unveiled their plaques on the walkway during the ceremony that featured Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston; Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke; and Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Board Chairman J. Kent Friedman. Eight-foot paintings of Campbell, Olajuwon and Ryan created by Houston sports artist Opie Otterstad were unveiled at the Houston Sports Awards and will be the first exhibit to hang in the HOF. The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, in partnership with Midway Cos. and Lionstone Investments, created the HOF. Classes will be announced annually at the Houston Sports Awards. Future phases call for multiple LED video displays and interactive experiences, and an indoor Hall of Fame. HSHOF rings were designed by Fred Cuellar of Diamond Cutters International and feature the number 34, the jersey number for each athlete, in the colors of their respective teams. Ring sizes ranged from an 11 for Hakeem Olajuwon to a 14 for Nolan Ryan and a 20 for Earl Campbell. n Inaugural Houston Sports Hall of Fame Class Honored Left to Right: Earl Campbell, Janis Burke (Harris County-Houston Sports Authority CEO), Hakeem Olajuwon, Sylvester Turner (Houston Mayor) and Reid Ryan. Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

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