The Houston Sports Park, at 12131 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas, is a creative response to the dire need in Houston for more fields where soccer, American football, lacrosse, frisbee golf and other games played on a rectangular field can be played. One use we did not anticipate is that the Houston Zoo needs a place for their cheetahs to run. One can regularly watch the cheetahs work out on the special playing surface at the park.
Tom served as the City lead manager taking over shortly after the land was acquired. He negotiated an interlocal agreement with the future park’s neighbor, Houston Community College and the Houston Parks Board LGC (HPB). HPB provided design and construction management for Phase 1. He also was the point person in the negotiation of the agreement with Competitive Edge Sports, Inc. for the Training and Medical Facility.
Seven of the fourteen fields have been completed and are being managed by the Houston Dynamo. This arrangement was part of the original vision to not have the operations paid for from the City’s General Fund. Rather it was and has been self supporting with the Dynamo managing it at their expense while renting out the fields to leagues and others. They are also obligated to provide a minimum amount to free time. The Dynamo and Dash teams practice there and the youth players coming to practice on the other fields get to play alongside the professional players. Click here to see the Dynamo’s web site for the park.
A special aspect of the fields is that the grass is growing on a sand layer over under-drain piping. The sand and drainage allow for quicker return to play after the frequent rains. But more importantly they also provide a slight cushion when running and that preserves young and old hips and knees. Such a system is standard on professional playing fields where those knees and hips have a large monetary value as well as an emotional one like we parents have for our kids.
The park is adjacent to the Houston Community College’s south campus. HCC planed to make that campus their home for HCC sports. The City and HCC entered into an interlocal agreement to use internal streets in exchange for rights of access.Tom also was the point person for the negotiation of the Training and Medical Facility located on the park grounds. The developer of the facility was given a long term ground lease and the funds received was used to improve Phase 1 of the park. Future payments will also be used for park improvements.
Methodist Hospital’s Sports Medicine services is a tenant in the building as is the Houston Dynamo, Competitive Edge Sports and Subway Sandwiches.
Phase 2 is nearing start of design to complete the park.