Recently there has been some chatter that the Houston Dynamo will have a big announcement this week. Since the Dynamo signed Mexican forward Luis Angel Landin on Thursday, its seems that this will be one of three things: an announcement related to the 2010 MLS All-Star Match, an announcement related to the potential friendly against either Club America or Chivas in October, or an announcement related to the construction of a soccer specific stadium for the Houston Dynamo. While news related to the All-Star Match or the friendly are definite possibilities, I’m going out on a limb and predicting that the news will concern the construction of a soccer specific stadium for the Dynamo.
Earlier this year, while he was a guest on the Ken Hoffman show on 1560 The Game in Houston, Texas, Dynamo CEO Oliver Luck stated that the club would be in their own stadium for the 2011 season. Initially, both the City of Houston and Harris County showed some reluctance about getting involved in the building of yet another sports venue in Houston; however, the fact that the bulk of the project will be paid for by the Dynamo has convinced the local governments to get involved in the project. While there are still a few details to work out, it no longer appears that local government reluctance is holding up stadium progress.
According to what has been said by Luck and others associated with the Houston Dynamo, stadium progress has been held up by financing. In the wake of last year’s economic collapses, the credit crunch that started hitting European clubs last summer has made its way to the United States making it difficult for the Dynamo to secure the necessary financing. The economic crisis has not been all bad news for the stadium though since the projected cost has fallen about $20 million.
This past weekend, the Dynamo’s high profile co-owner, Oscar de la Hoya, has been in Houston to promote the HBO Boxing After Dark event which took place at the Toyota Center on Saturday evening. In a video interview filmed by Allen Reid of KPRC Channel 2 in Houston, de la Hoya stated that the team was very close to “dotting that final i” and that “everything’s in place. . . . The City is in place, the funding is in place, everything is ready to go, and I’m sure we’ll be making an announcement pretty soon.” This is the first time I have heard anyone connected to the Dynamo indicate that the funding for the stadium is in place. If it was the financing that was holding up stadium progress, based on de la Hoya’s statement, it appears that hurdle has been overcome.
Another reason for expecting a stadium announcement this week is that if it does not happen soon, the Dynamo will not be moving into a new stadium in 2011. Earlier this summer, Luck acknowledged that if the Dynamo are going to be in a new stadium for the 2011 season, then groundbreaking and construction needs to begin this fall. While it’s still hitting the high nineties here in Houston, fall is quickly approaching and we are hitting the now or never time for an announcement that will pave the way for the Dynamo to have a new home in 2011.
No matter what the Dynamo announcement proves to be, you will be able to read about here at Major League Soccer Talk.
Monday Morning Update: a related article has appeared in the Houston Chronicle