Attention Stacy Smith, Warren Jones, Bryan Zygo & all Houston Dynamo supporters. Since getting your club in 2005 and spending all your home games at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston, finally some good fortune has come your way than just the two MLS Cup Championships your side has earned.
The Harris County Commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, April 13th for a 20,000 seat stadium that costs $95 Million dollars to construct. The city of Houston also approved of the project about a week ago. Along with building the new soccer stadium there will be some economic zoning to redevelop the area and use new tax revenue to pay the city’s and county’s portions of the project.
Dynamo President Oliver Luck expects designers and architects to start working on the project by May and construction to begin by November or December with the stadium opening in two years. The project date to finish is April of 2012. The stadium would be jointly owned by the city and county, with all the responsibilities in the hands of the Houston Dynamo operating the facility.
Sixty of the $95 million will be paid by the Dynamo while the city & county will pay $20 million in the infrastructure improvements around the facility. The best thing about all this for the residents of Houston & Harris County is that the tax payers won’t be the ones footing the bill on the project. This stadium will be built close to Minute Maid Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros & the Toyota Center, the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets & AHL’s Houston Aeros. So I believe that local Houston buses and or trains will be able to get the supporters to the games.
Unfortunately there are those in the area that are not happy about this project happening. Some believe that the stadium would disrupt their way of life and not bring true economic redevelopment of the area. Once again when you hear something like this for soccer, they assume it’s never going to work. But what some of the people don’t understand is that the Dynamo will host other games besides the MLS schedule.
I am very excited for the city of Houston, very excited for Major League Soccer & very excited for US Soccer as another home field advantage will be built for a possible Friendly or World Cup Qualifier for the National Team. I am also excited for my good friends who had to go thru alot of grandstanding and political red tape from their local County Government to make this day finally happen. I understand it’s not a pretty thing to go thru, but when a break through finally happens its all smiles.
I have always said all clubs in MLS needs to have their own stadiums to control their revenue streams. Renting or leasing a temporary home just doesn’t cut it anymore when you need this league to get bigger and stronger financial wise. Now we have along with Houston, Kansas City & San Jose with stadium construction projects.
Within a three to four year time period and not counting the expansion sides Portland & Vancouver coming in next year, those three MLS Clubs will finally have homes of their own. But sadly the only negative that will be shining very bright is RFK Stadium as DC United will continue to fight and somehow convince the district to help them create a brand new stadium.