Skip to comments.(Houston steps closer to new Dynamo stadium) City signs letter of intent for soccer stadium land
Posted on 01/10/2008 1:34:32 PM PST by weegee
As negotiations on a proposed soccer stadium drag into the new year, the city of Houston and the Dynamo can now at least agree on where such a venue would be built.
Earlier this week, city officials signed letters of intent to buy parcels of land just east of U.S. 59 and the downtown business district, a move Mayor Bill White described Wednesday as a major step toward acquiring property for a possible home for the back-to-back Major League Soccer champions.
City officials declined to identify the location, but a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed reports that the parcels are in a six-block area between Texas and Walker avenues and Hutchins and Dowling streets, just southeast of Minute Maid Park near the northbound side of U.S. 59.
The Dynamo and parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group have been in negotiations with the city over the building of a 22,000-seat, open-air stadium since May.
Both parties said Wednesday that discussions are proceeding, with the city intending to have the team finance construction of the stadium, expected to cost $70 million to $80 million.
"It's not going to be done the way it was done with other stadiums, where the taxpayers picked up the tab," White said. "We're not going to do some special deal of giving a lot of money that could go to police or fire to a sports owner."
Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and Toyota Center, all recently built sports venues in Houston, were financed for the most part with public monies.
While deeming White's announcement encouraging, Dynamo officials appeared focused on managing expectations as they try to hammer out a deal.
"The new stadium is our highest priority," Dynamo President Oliver Luck said. "Although we have not reached an agreement with the city of Houston, we are anxious to come to closure on the terms of a public-private partnership with the city and we are willing to assume responsibility for a much higher proportion of the costs than any other team owner has had to assume in Houston."
Letters of intent signed The sides seem to be making some progress.
Last month, the city signed letters of intent for two sites being considered for a regional amateur soccer complex. The proposed 18-field complex would house the Dynamo's practice facility and amateur youth and adult clubs.
The locations one immediately north of Sims Bayou, the other north of Almeda-Genoa are just west of Texas 288 in south Houston. The site near Almeda-Genoa is the more likely to house the complex, officials said.
Local clubs and organizations welcomed the announcement.
"A severe shortage of quality soccer pitches within the area has long restricted our ability to compete for regional and national level events," said Ed Loucks, president of the South Texas Youth Soccer Association. "This complex, once built, will allow Houston to compete for both regional and national tournaments with long-established venues."
White said officials would see whether school districts wanted to partner with the city on the complex.
"It's going to be one of the biggest things in amateur sports to have occurred in this city in a long, long time," said White, who added that some fields could be in operation as early as 2009.
Possible complication Reaching a deal for a stadium might not come as quickly.
Complicating negotiations is the possible sale of the Dynamo. A group that includes boxer Oscar De La Hoya is interested in buying the team from AEG, which wants to concentrate on its more profitable MLS outfit, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
While AEG's initial proposal called for the team to bear the brunt of the stadium's cost, De La Hoya's group might be pushing to have more public money go toward the project, something White has rejected.
"We will not do what Frisco and other communities have done, which is use large amounts of taxpayers funds to fund the construction of a stadium," White said.
White said that if the stadium deal falls through, the city could use the land, find a commercial developer or sell it.
"It's a good piece of property," he said.
If a stadium is built, tax receipts from concession sales and appreciation in adjacent real estate would benefit city coffers, White said. Though the city would pay to acquire parcels of land for the stadium, it also could sell or lease that land back to the Dynamo owners.
Echoing prior statements by MLS and AEG on the issue, Luck said a stadium is critical to the long-term economic success and viability of the Dynamo.
Columbus got the first one in '99 followed by L.A. in '03, Dallas in '05 and Chicago in '06. Others under construction or planning are New Jersey, Denver, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
The kept putting it on the ballot until people said yes. Then they repackaged it "so that it would be paid for by hotel guests and car rentals." So a few more numbnuts said "okay, well it's not my money!"
However, all the cities get that dumb idea so if you travel and rent a car you pay 80% in taxes.
Then we go to the stadium and get charged $7 for a pint of beer.
It’s also heavily supported by the latino population, which is the pandering being done.
In Salt Lake, the governor and legislature came right out and said that if you opposed building the stadium, you were a racist and obviously hated brown people.
The Rockets also took the NBA Championship 2 years in a row. This soccer stadium may be for "current performance" but they are not the only team to accomplish this task in the city's history.
They used to be the San Diego team. The original name of the Houston team was going to be Houston 1836, but they changed to so as not to anger their fans from south of the border (read: most of their fans).
They also claimed there would be enough parking with a few blocks of the stadium for 10,000 cars. This NEW stadium will occupy land in that same parking deprived area.
Yeah, there have been some soccer specfic stadiums built and many more planned. Makes it easier to see instead of looking at the 10 yards lines.
What they could do is draw the illegal crowd in by giving them a 20% discount...ICE may...Or may not have a good day...
The Mexicans already got their panties in a twist over the Dynamos original name “The Houston 1836”. How dare Houston commemorate General Sam handing Santa Anna his butt at San Jacinto. The outcry in the “hispanic comunity” was hillarious.
The Earthquakes (who used to be the San Jose Clash) had a history of swinging between worst-to-first-to-worst-to-first records while in San Jose. San Jose retained the rights to the team name and record, so the team was forced to change names when they moved to Houston.
San Jose is planning to form a new team for the upcoming season.
Har. The team was named “1846” for about two weeks until the Mexicans went nuts and the league/owners caved.
As if having a “professional” succer team wasn’t insulting enough for the fine people of Houston...
1836. Learn your Texas history bub,LOL!
I think the ancestors of the majority of the attendees came from the North American continent...somewhat south of the Rio Grande.
I stand corrected, bub.
Houston discards 1836 moniker and becomes Dynamo; MetroStars sale is discussed.
HOUSTON (Monday, March 6, 2006) — Houston 1836 is no more.
After offending many in the Hispanic community of their new home, Major League Soccer’s transplanted San Jose Earthquakes discarded their first nickname, announced on January 25, and became the Houston Dynamo.
Management of the new Houston team chose 1836 to commemorate the year its home city was founded. Latinos, however, associate 1836 with the Texas Revolution and that year’s bloody Battle of San Jacinto (about 20 miles east of Houston) when General Sam Houston led his Texas Army to defeat General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican forces. The Texas Republic then seceded from Mexico, to be annexed by the United States in 1845, just before the Mexican-American War of 1846-48.
While Russia’s Moscow Dynamo and Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev were believed to be an influence in the new moniker, team president Oliver Luck offered another explanation — it was to honor the city’s ties to the energy industry. “Dynamo is a word to describe someone who never fatigues, never gives up,” he said. “The new name is symbolic of Houston as an energetic, hard-working, risk-taking kind of town.”
The announcement was made at a press conference today.
“We’d like to once again reiterate that at no time did MLS or (Anschutz Entertainment Group, the team’s owner-operator) ever want to offend any members of the community in Houston,” Luck said. “We want everyone to feel welcome and become a part of professional soccer in Houston.”
Any influence from the international soccer scene would be line with a trend that started with 2005’s two MLS expansion teams. Chivas USA carried the nickname of its parent organization, the popular Mexican team Club Deportivo Guadalajara. Real Salt Lake is a tribute to Spanish power Real Madrid.
The term dynamo is short for dynamoelectric machine which is a generator of electricity, while the word also refers to a forceful, energetic individual.
“We believe a parallel can be drawn to the two major communities in Houston: English speakers and Spanish speakers,” Luck said. “Together, (these communities) will create electricity at games unlike any other in MLS.”
After playing in San Jose for the first 10 years of MLS, the Houston Dynamo will open the 2006 season at home April 2 at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus.
At least I can say I marched to the polls and voted against every single one of them, ha!
Huh? They are a soccer team, are they not?
Battle of San Jacinto
800 Texians under Sam Houston beat 1400 Mexicans in 18 minutes. Hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured, while there were relatively few Texian casualties.630 Mexican soldiers killed, 208 wounded and 730 prisoners.April 21, 1836. The San Jacinto monument and battleground is about 1/2 an hour outside of Houston. Seems our “Latino” brothers and sisters are still a little miffed about this.
And their sponsor is Amigo Energy. Go figure.