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The Super Bowl is making us get stuff done

Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

The 2017 Super Bowl not only will drive thousands of football fans to Houston, it will put a hard deadline on projects from office and hotel construction to a light-rail extension, a local developer said Wednesday.

Ric Campo, CEO of Houston-based Camden Properties and chairman of the Houston Super Bowl bid committee that successfully lobbied the NFL for the big game, said over the next three years developers and the city plan to invest $3.5 billion in downtown. By contrast, he said, the business community and city have invested a total of $5 billion there over the last 14 years.

“It creates incredible deadlines and amazing pressure to get projects done,” he said. “We’re trying to turn downtown into a 24-hour city.”

Campo told a real estate group at its monthly meeting that the Super Bowl would have a combined $500 million positive impact to the city.

He cited several projects that are now under pressure to finish in time, including a Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, a Hyatt Place, the Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel and a Spring Hill Suites. At least six planned residential towers and seven office projects planned for downtown are expected to be completed in time for the big event.

As you know, there’s nothing I like more than an economic impact estimate for a major sporting event. At least for this major sporting event, the construction work being done is for things that will have a benefit for the city before and after The Big Game and would have been good to have even in the absence of said game. Now that I work downtown I have a much better appreciation of all that’s going on there. All this construction is a pain to deal with now, but it’ll be great once it’s finished. It’s reassuring to have a deadline for that.

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One Comment

  1. voter_worker says:

    What you seem to see as a plus is a decidedly negative aspect of Houston’s culture in my opinion. For crying out loud, while reading this piece I found myself cynically hoping that somehow this bonanza of activity will extend to repair of the city’s deplorable streets. I won’t be holding my breath on that one. It’s highly likely that the majority of non-hotel projects are not at all related to the Super Bowl. This quasi-statistical linking of a mega sports event with the inevitable wonders of improvement and development is a large part of the hype that supports the mythical status of the Super Bowl. Will we be reading hand-wringing articles in 2018/19 about Houston’s terrible hotel occupancy rates due to the oversupply that resulted from the pre-bowl boom?