Top 12 games & sports events this month: April 2016

Minute Maid Park | Photo: Adam Baker via CC

Be front and center for some of the most important games and sports events in Houston during April 2016, from the NCAA Final Four to the Shell Houston Open to the finale of the Rockets’ season.

Also in April 2016

Top 15 Things This Month

Top 12 Games & Sports Events

Top 15 Food & Drink Events

Top 12 Plays & Performances

Top 10 Live Shows & Concerts

With all due respect to football season, this April is shaping up to be the best month to be a sports fan in Houston in all of 2016. It starts with the NCAA Final Four, which will put Houston at the center of the sporting world 10 months before Super Bowl LI comes to town.

The month also features a star-studded PGA Tour event headlined by Jordan Spieth; the conclusion of the Rockets’ season as they vie for a playoff spot – which will include one of the final games of Kobe Bryant’s career – and potential home playoff games to follow.

If soccer and baseball are what you’re craving the Dynamo host games against two of the best clubs in MLS as well as the start of Astros season for a team with World Series aspirations, beginning with a four-game series against the defending World Series champs.

Top 12 Games & Sports Events this Month: April 2016

  • Shell Houston Open at Golf Club of Houston | Through Sunday, April 3 – Taking place one week before the Masters, the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open annually brings many of the world’s best golfers to Houston. This year is no exception, with a field headlined by world number one Jordan Speith and four other top-10 players in Rickie Fowler (5), Henrik Stinson (7), Dustin Johnson (9) and Patrick Reed (10). Other notables include Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy, Davis Love III, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Angel Cabrera, Stuart Appleby, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan and Lee Westwood. Tickets start at $35 for single day pass; $105 for a weekly pass. Times vary.
  • NCAA Men’s Final Four at NRG Stadium | Saturday, April 2 through Monday, April 4 – Final Four festivities will begin on Friday, April 1, and the games themselves begin on Saturday, April 2. The first national semifinal game (5:09pm tip) pits No. 2 seed Oklahoma against No. 2 seed Villanova, while the second semifinal (7:49pm) features No. 1 seed North Carolina against No. 10 seed Syracuse. The winners will play in the championship game on Monday to cap what will be third Final Four ever played in Houston (1971, 2011, 2016). Tickets can be purchased for the National Semifinals, National Championship or all sessions; prices vary; but you may find cheaper, better or hard-to-get seats on TicketNetwork’s resale site. Times vary.
  • Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center | Sunday, April 3 – James Harden goes against his former team in this critical late-season game for the Rockets, who enter the month of April locked in a battle for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs – but also within striking distance of the sixth seed, even the fifth seed if everything breaks their way. Can Harden and Houston withstand Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Co. for a crucial home victory? Tickets start at $49 not including ticket fees; but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale market. 2:30pm.
  • Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders at BBVA Compass Stadium | Sunday, April 10 – Giles Barnes, Will Bruin and the Dynamo square off against U.S. international star Clint Dempsey and one of the USMNT’s most promising players, 21-year-old Stanford product Jordan Morris. The Sounders have made the playoffs in every season since entering MLS in 2007 and won the Supporters’ Shield – awarded to the team with the best regular season record – in 2014. Tickets start at $26 not including ticket fees, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale market. 2:45pm.
  • Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center | Sunday, April 10 – The Lakers are by far one of the worst teams in the NBA, but that doesn’t matter here. This will be the final game ever in Houston for Kobe Bryant, the longtime Lakers star who will retire after this season, and the third-to-last game overall of his illustrious career. Bryant is expected to play in every remaining Lakers game this season, so he should be in the starting lineup and get significant minutes. Tickets start at $99 not including ticket fees; but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale market. 2:30pm.
  • Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park | Monday, April 11 – The Astros’ 2016 home opener welcomes the defending World Series champs to town – six months after the Astros nearly knocked them out of the playoffs in a devastating American League Divisional Series loss. Houston is loaded with young talent and is a trendy pick to contend for the World Series this year behind stars such as Dallas Keuchel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. The game is sold out, but you can still find hard-to-get seats on TicketNetwork’s resale website.  7:10pm.
  • Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center | Wednesday, April 13 – In their regular-season finale, the Rockets will either be playing out the string or playing for playoff seeding as they host the lowly Kings. Depending on their record, the Rockets could be on the outside of the playoffs looking in, or needing a victory to sneak into the playoffs, or already have a playoff spot clinched and be playing to earn a better seed. Tickets start at $20 not including ticket fees; but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale market. 7pm.
  • Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium | Friday, April 15 – Widely regarded as the class of Major League Soccer, the Galaxy have won the MLS Cup a record five times, including in back-to-back years against the Dynamo in 2011-12. Coach Bruce Arena has a squad rife with international stars both young and old, including captain Robbie Keane (Ireland), Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole (England), Nigel de Jong (Netherlands) and Giovani dos Santos (Mexico). Tickets start at $28 not including ticket fees, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale marketplace. 5:45pm.
  • Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park | Friday, April 15 – The Astros kick off a three-game weekend series against the Tigers – an aging but star-studded team – on Jackie Robinson Day, Major League Baseball’s annual celebration of Jackie Robinson breaking its color barrier in 1947. All players, coaches, managers and umpires throughout the league will wear number 42 to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer. Tickets start at $12.50 not including ticket fees, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale marketplace. 7:10pm.
  • Houston Texans Cheerleader Tryouts at Houston Methodist Training Center | Saturday, April 16 – This one is not for those who want to watch the tryouts – they aren’t open to the public – but rather those who want to participate for a chance to make the squad. More than 1,000 hopefuls tried out last year, and the initial pool is typically reduced to 50 finalists, with subsequent rounds of tryouts to follow on Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 25. Click here for more information. Click here to register. 3pm.
  • Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park | Sunday, April 24 – Sunday Night Baseball comes to Houston as the Astros face the Red Sox in a primetime game that will be televised nationally on ESPN in baseball’s weekly equivalent to Monday Night Football. It’s the finale of a three-game series against Boston, which is led by up-and-coming stars Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts along with veterans Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz, who will retire after this season. Tickets start at $12 not including ticket fees, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale website. 7:05pm.
  • Houston Texans Draft Party at NRG Stadium | Thursday, April 28 – The Texans’ annual draft party draws thousands of spirited fans to the stadium each year on the first night of the draft to see who the home team selects with its top pick. Last year’s event featured a live Texans Radio draft broadcast on SportsRadio 610, live coverage of the first round of the draft shown on NFL Network, children’s activities including interactive games and inflatable stations, autographs and performances from the Texans Cheerleaders and Texans mascot Toro, autographs from Texans Ambassadors, and more. Tickets to this event are all claimed and are in high demand, however you may be able to find tickets on TicketNetwork’s resale website. 5pm.
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Nick Scurfield spent six years as “Texans Insider” for the Houston Texans from 2007-13, serving as the team’s primary reporter on and an analyst on Texans Radio and Texans TV. He co-hosted “Texans All Access” and other shows on SportsRadio610 AM (KILT) and appeared on “Texans Huddle” and other programming on FOX Sports Southwest. He also worked on the NFL public relations staff at Super Bowls XLIV (2010, Miami) and XLV (2011, Dallas) and, while attending the University of Southern California, worked for the USC football team during two national championship seasons under coach Pete Carroll. His work has been featured on ESPN, NFL Network,, Photo:, ProFootballTalk, RotoWorld and Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @NickScurfield.