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(Houston steps closer to new Dynamo stadium) City signs letter of intent for soccer stadium land
Houston Chronicle ^ | Jan. 10, 2008, 10:33AM | 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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: houston; hsa; landgrab; taxdollarsatwork; youpayforthis
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To: Allegra
Err...I didn't even know we had a MLS team in Houston.

Congratulations! You won the MLS championship last year, Allegra!

But then again, it's not like you need to have been in Iraq for the last several years to have heard nothing about American soccer. 8^)

Stay safe, A.

41 posted on 01/10/2008 2:42:23 PM PST by AngryJawa ({IDPA, NRA} All Hail John Moses Browning)
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To: Allegra

P.S. to Post 41 - *And the year before, too!*


42 posted on 01/10/2008 2:45:26 PM PST by Rte66
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To: AngryJawa
Congratulations! You won the MLS championship last 2 years

The only reason I knew this was because all the taquerias were closed the next day,lol.

43 posted on 01/10/2008 2:50:45 PM PST by TexasMatty (Trekkers for Paul!!, http://www.chrispeden.org/ !!!)
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To: TexasMatty
The only reason I knew this was because all the taquerias were closed the next day,lol.

Ay caramba!

44 posted on 01/10/2008 2:51:53 PM PST by AngryJawa ({IDPA, NRA} All Hail John Moses Browning)
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To: All

A better title for this thread would be: WHY I HATE SOCCER.


45 posted on 01/10/2008 2:52:05 PM PST by southparkNationalist (I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear and let it pass through me.)
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To: southparkNationalist
A MUCH better title for this thread would be: WHY I HATE A VAST MAJORITY IN THE USA DESPISE SOCCER.

Fixed

46 posted on 01/10/2008 2:58:33 PM PST by JRios1968 (Don't mess with tigers, for you are crunchy and chewy...)
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To: JRios1968

HA HA .....ha ha.....haaaaaaaaaaa! That’s a good one. How do you do that? Your such a smart boy! That was funny. That was amazing.


47 posted on 01/10/2008 3:23:33 PM PST by southparkNationalist (I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear and let it pass through me.)
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To: southparkNationalist

All that, and I can tell the difference between “you’re” and “your” as well!


48 posted on 01/10/2008 3:31:04 PM PST by JRios1968 (Don't mess with tigers, for you are crunchy and chewy...)
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To: weegee

This is wrong on every level.

Let these fools play soccer in hell.


49 posted on 01/10/2008 3:44:39 PM PST by Eaker (If illegal immigrants were so great for an economy; Mexico would be building a wall to keep them in)
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To: TexasMatty

If the majority of soccer fans are Hispanic then it was a stupid idea to name the team 1836 in the first place.


50 posted on 01/10/2008 3:58:19 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: weegee

Soccer is for fags.


51 posted on 01/10/2008 4:13:55 PM PST by montag813
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To: MinorityRepublican

Why? It has significance to both Texas and Houston. If your hispanic and live in Texas your loyalties should be to Texas. The only hispanics that got mad about 1836 are the Reconquista types. And most Texans(myself included) couldn’t give two shots less about those border jumpers sensibilities.


52 posted on 01/10/2008 4:37:04 PM PST by TexasMatty (Trekkers for Paul!!, http://www.chrispeden.org/ !!!)
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To: TexasMatty
Let me redefine that. Most of the soccer fans in the United States are Mexicans.

Hispanics from elsewhere are increasingly playing baseball because that's where all the dough is.

53 posted on 01/10/2008 5:23:26 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: Political Junkie Too
Ah! I see where I messed up. San Diego Jose. My bad.
54 posted on 01/11/2008 6:20:15 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: Xenalyte
Soccer is for Eurofags. When did they take over our city?

The futbol ees mucho preedy good for the latino cholos, ese!

55 posted on 01/11/2008 4:51:07 PM PST by humblegunner (My KungFu is ten times power.)
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To: Eaker
Let these fools play soccer in hell.

There is no soccer in hell.

Soccer is too "third world" for hell.

Even hell has standards.

56 posted on 01/11/2008 4:56:08 PM PST by humblegunner (My KungFu is ten times power.)
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