5 Months to Go

Construction is proceeding on schedule for a new soccer stadium on the east end of downtown.  The $90 million facility will be home to the Houston Dynamo soccer team.

The Houston Dynamo entered Major League Soccer in 2005, when the San Jose Earthquakes franchise was put to pasture.  The club was created as an expansion franchise with the Earthquake players and staff relocating from the Bay Area to Houston.  

The Dynamo went on to win back to back MLS Cup championships in its first two seasons in 2006 and 2007, but lost to David Beckam and the LA Galaxy in the finals last month.  Now, the club waits anxiously for its new home acoss from the Astros’ Minute Maid Park.  Dynamo president Chris Canetti told Harris County Commissioners that they’re about 8 months into construction.

“We’re about 5 months away from our first-ever Dynamo game, and thanks to our success on the field this year, making it to the championship game, and the rise of the stadium, the excitement around soccer and the Dynamo is just tremendous.  It’s not only a stadium for the Dynamo and soccer; it’s a stadium for Texas Southern University, as well as multiple concerts and other great events that we’ll be bringing to the city.”

The state-of-the-art, open-air stadium will also be the first soccer specific venue in Major League Soccer located in a city’s downtown district with:

“22,000 seats, all the great amenities that we have in the other fantastic sports entertainment venues here in town, the suites and clubs and things of that nature.  It’s also gonna be a great boost to the economy as well, with over $30 million dollars of annual impact to the economy.  And with construction ongoing right now, we have about 450 to 500 workers on-site, creating hundreds and hundreds of jobs.”

The Dynamo will pay upwards of $70 million in construction costs, while the city and county will share $15 million in land costs, plus $20 million in infrastructure improvements.  The city and county will jointly own the stadium, and charge the team $65,000 a year in rent.  County Judge Ed Emmett called the update on construction good news.

“You know, the Dynamo stadium, and that’s why I said it the way I did in court, the team is putting $65 million dollars in, they’re building their own stadium.  The county and the city are chipping in for the infrastructure around it.  And so, it’s a win-win for everybody.  I’m pleased by it.”

The Dynamo’s first game is scheduled to be played next April.