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HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM ... ACTUALLY, A FEW PROBLEMS
Published October 23, 1995
"How could it happen? How can the fourth-largest city in the nation be on the verge of losing its pro football team and major-league baseball team in the same year," asks Terry Blount of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. As for the Astros, Blount concludes it is not Houston fans that have changed, but the economics of baseball (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/22). Eddie Webster, President of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the impact of losing the Oilers and Astros would be "devastating." Webster: "This is a lot more important than just the money it generates for Houston. This is about prestige and image." But the question of overall impact on a community is debatable, according to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE's John Williams. Patti Strauss, spokesperson for MONEY magazine, which ranks cities on livability, said the loss of two teams would have "very little effect." And John Brock, head of a top Houston executive recruiting firm, said sports don't rank as high as other "quality-of-life issues" when executives consider a move to a city. Still, Brock and others note the image problems, notably whether Houston will be seen as a "city on the decline" if the teams vacate (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/21).