Jan 3, 2023 - News

News stories we're watching in 2023

Illustration of the Axios logo moving sidways like a rightward arrow, and revealing the year 2023 over a field of blue and black streaks.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Welcome to the new year, dear readers.

Driving the news: We've got our eye on a handful of storylines in 2023 and wanted to give you a taste of what you can expect.

Mayor Sylvester Turner will finish his final term this year, setting up a contentious fight over who will serve as the next mayor starting in 2024.

  • Eight candidates have either announced or filed campaign reports indicating they are running for the nonpartisan position, according to the Houston Chronicle.
  • Those include Amanda Edwards, Chris Hollins, John Whitmire, Lee Kaplan, Naoufal Houjami, Ralph Garcia, Raykey Tezino and Robin Williams.
  • All of Houston's 16 City Council positions are also up for grabs. Election Day is Nov. 7.

For men's college basketball fans, Houston will be the center of the universe in April.

  • After the Texans' abysmal season, NRG Stadium will finally be packed for championship-level play April 1 and 3 for the NCAA Final Four. Look for the No. 2 Houston Cougars to make a deep run in the tournament for a chance to play in their backyard.
  • Cities that host the Final Four usually see an economic boost upwards of $100 million, Front Office Sports reports.

Also: The 2022 World Series champion Astros will vie for back-to-back wins in the Fall Classic. Start saving for postseason tickets now.

  • While we're on Houston sports, Sam Laity will make his debut as the Dash's new head coach when the National Women's Soccer League season kicks off in March.

As for the economy, if a nationwide recession happens — which economists agree seems likely — Houston is expected to still come out strong, according to the Greater Houston Partnership forecast.

  • Though how much the local economy will be impacted and which sectors will be most affected is still uncertain.

Ongoing transportation projects will also be worth keeping tabs on this year, including the revived controversial North Houston Highway Improvement Project, the reimagined Montrose Boulevard makeover and battles over bike lanes in Third Ward and beyond.

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