HOUSTON – After some speculation on social networks that Houston's Astrodome might host the 2022 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, USBC announced on Dec. 11 that Houston indeed would host the tournament -- but in a facility other than the Astrodome.
When a May 25 post on the Greater Houston USBC Association's Facebook Page by user Bobby Ray Maulding noted "speculation on other Facebook groups about making the Astrodome a potential site for the 2022 USBC Open Championships," the association confirmed in a reply that, "The Sports Authority has been working with USBC but we do not have any details yet."
Per USBC's Dec. 11 announcement, those details now are known: The USBC Open Championships will be held in Houston for the first time in 2022, but the venue will be a new mixed-use, state-of-the-art sports facility currently under development in North Houston.
The USBC Open Championships attracts approximately 50,000 bowlers from around the world to compete for titles in three average-based divisions. The event normally runs from March through July with competition held daily and generates an expected economic impact between $75 million and $100 million during the six-month run.
“We’re excited to bring the Open Championships to a new host city in Houston, which has proven itself to be among the nation’s elite and top-tier sports destinations,” USBC President Karl Kielich said. “The opportunity to be the first major event in a new sports complex demonstrates the success and strength of the USBC Open Championships."
Initial plans for the 2022 event include enough lanes for the Open Championships, the tournament’s premier side event, the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, and team practice sessions.
“What an amazing opportunity for Houston and Harris County,’’ said Chris Massey, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Director of Events. “When you combine ingredients like a world-class sports town, an amazing new venue, and a top-notch event such as the USBC Open Championships, you really can’t help but get excited.’’
Since its inception in 1901, the event has been held all across the United States. This will mark the tournament’s fifth trip to Texas, joining Fort Worth (1957), Corpus Christi (1992, 2006) and El Paso (2015) as hosts.
The 2019 Open Championships begins March 9 at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, where organizers expect up to 55,000 bowlers.