Sporty Houston weekend warrior wonderland closing after nearly 50 years
A cherished sports complex that has seen an estimated 1,000,000 players and fans pass through its gates is shuttering after 47 years.
Houston Sportsplex, a sprawling 40-acre complex (12631 S. Main St.) and one of Houston’s largest private athletic facilities, has been sold and will host final games and an official farewell on Thursday, December 23, with games starting at 7 pm.
“It’s a bittersweet announcement, this place is like a second home to me,” Barry Horvitz, co-owner of the longtime southwest Houston athletics complex said in a statement. “So many memories and lifelong friendships have been forged here. In fact, there are several married couples who first met while playing at our complex.”
The venue has been home to countless slow- and fast-pitch softball championships, beach volleyball, flag football, soccer, and no doubt, an earful of trash talk.
Horvitz and business partner Ronny Hecht, who have sold the property to an undisclosed buyer for future development, acquired the property in 2001 when it was then known as Softball Country Club. The duo promptly re-branded the facility to appeal to a broader range of leagues, while adding eight beach volleyball courts and four multi-use fields for soccer and flag football. They also added new concession stands and an updated indoor restaurant, per a release.
“The popularity of softball peaked in the early ’90s and unfortunately, it has slowly declined ever since,” said Horvitz. “Many of those who contributed to softball’s popularity have simply aged out of the game. Plus companies don’t field the number of teams like they used to.”
Aside from the myriad fans and players, Horvitz added that he’s also grateful for all the tournament directors, association directors, umpires, officials, referees, scorekeepers, and others who worked games throughout the years.
“Without them, none of this would have been possible,” he added. “We’ll miss hearing the crack of the bat and all the cheers, but it’s been a great run.”