In just a few days, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots will face off at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas in Super Bowl LI, one of the biggest television events of the year. Whether you were lucky enough to score tickets to the Big Game, or if you’ll be rooting from a bar or at home, there’s no denying that there is plenty to discover about this year’s host city.
Here are 51 essential facts about Houston to get you ready for Super Bowl LI:
1. This is the third Super Bowl Houston has hosted. This first time was in 1974 for Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium, while the second was held at NRG Stadium in 2004 for Super Bowl XXXVIII.
2. Houston was founded in 1836 by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.
3. Houston is 43 feet above sea level.
4. Over 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area.
5. The city has a three-airport system that served 55 million passengers in 2015, including 10 million international travelers.
6. “Houstonians” eat out more than any other city residents.
7. Houston has more than 11,000 restaurants.
8. 92 countries have consular offices in the city, which is the third highest in the U.S.
9. Houston has many professional sports teams: Houston Texans (football), Houston Astros (baseball), Houston Cougars (basketball), and Houston Dynamo (soccer).
10. 23 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Houston, like Conoco Phillips (COP - Free Report) , Marathon Oil (MRO - Free Report) , Sysco (SYY - Free Report) , and Halliburton (HAL - Free Report) .
11. Houston is the largest city in Texas and southern United States.
12. The city is home to the world’s biggest concentration of healthcare organizations.
13. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is located in Houston, which houses America’s astronaut corps as well as the training place for astronauts.
14. Houston is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse cities in the U.S.
15. It also has a large number of parks and green space, with 50,632 acres in total.
16. The city has over 40 colleges, universities, and institutions, including the University of Houston and Rice University.
17. Every summer night, 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats come out from under Waugh Drive Bridge to hunt for mosquitoes.
18. Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter Wes Anderson was born in Houston.
19. Houston has more than 500 cultural, visual, and performing arts organizations.
20. The city has a downtown tunnel system that runs 7 miles and links 95 city blocks.
21. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest in the world, attracts over 2.2 million visitors each year.
22. The now-defunct Houston Astrodome was the world’s first multi-use domed sports stadium.
23. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is the largest in Texas, and with over 62,000 pieces of art, it is the largest collection in the Southwest.
24. The word “Houston” was the first word that Neil Armstrong said on the moon.
25. Founders Augustus and Jon Allen named the city after Sam Houston, an American politician and solider best known for his role in bringing Texas into the U.S. as a constituent state.
26. Houston is home to the very first BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in North America.
27. Houston is one of five U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
28. It is the fourth largest city in the U.S., behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
29. The city’s latitude is 29 degrees, 45 minutes north, and its longitude is 95 degrees, 22 minutes west.
30. The Heisman Trophy is named after John Heisman, the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University.
31. Houston is the only major U.S. city without zoning ordinances, allowing more flexibility in land use planning.
32. Our holy Queen of #flawlessness, Beyoncé, was born in Houston.
33. There are 19 total museums in a 1.5-mile radius that make up the Houston Museum District.
34. Houston is home to The Rothko Chapel, a cultural landmark that Russian-born artist Mark Rothko spent three years creating.
35. The Port of Houston is the biggest when it comes to the amount of international tonnage handled, and third in terms of trade value.
36. Because of Houston’s nearness to Latin America and its strength in the energy sector, the port was a big reason for over 100 foreign-owned companies to expand to Houston back between 2008 and 2010.
37. Houston is home to more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere in America except for New York.
38. The Beer Can House in Houston is covered with 39,000 beer cans, all of which were consumed by John Milkovisch over 18 years.
39. The Houston-Galveston-Bazoria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) consists of 8 counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.
40. The Houston CMSA covers 8,788 square miles, which is only slightly smaller than Massachusetts but bigger than New Jersey.
41. There’s a 27-and-a-half-foot intestine on display at the Houston Museum of Health and Medical Science.
42. Houston’s Orange Show Center for Visionary Art began with postman Jeff McKissack in the ‘50s who collected bricks, tiles, fencing, and other objects in honor of his favorite fruit, oranges.
43. The Port of Houston offers free 90-minute cruises aboard the M/V Sam Houston, a public tour vessel.
44. The Aurora Picture Show in Houston has 800 films in its video library collection, and the use of the library is free.
45. Houston’s Theater District is 17 blocks long, and contains eight performing arts organizations and over 12,000 seats.
46. The city has among the youngest population in the country.
47. Over 52,000 people work within Houston’s Texas Medical Center, the largest in the world. It spans 21 million square feet, and sees 4.8 million patients each year.
48. Houston is considered by many as the Energy Capital of the world.
49. Houston Heights, one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods, is actually dry, and it has been for more than 100 years.
50. South Park creator Matt Stone was born in Houston.
51. Houston’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory was the very first to get samples from the moon back in 1969.
Data for this list was compiled from here, here, here, and here.
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