Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Houston Moves Closer Towards Soccer Specific Stadium

Ever since winning a second MLS Championship in a row back in November, Houston Dynamo Fans have been waiting for word that the City of Houston and the Houston Dynamo had struck a deal to build a soccer specific stadium in or near downtown Houston. While there is no deal yet, the City has taken some steps that make a deal much more likely. Today it was announced that, on Monday, the City signed letters of intent to purchase land on the East Side of Highway 59, which runs along the East Edge of Downtown. For reference, the Astros' Minute Maid Park and the Rockets' Toyota Center are located on the west side of Highway 59. Meanwhile, last month the City signed letters of intent to purchase land along Highway 288, just south of Downtown and near the famed Houston Medical Center, for an 18 field soccer complex.

While the Houston Dynamo are willing to put up a bigger percentage of money to build a stadium then any other Houston sports team has done, it seems one sticking point is the costs of infrastructure improvements that would be necessary.

In a press release, Houston Dynamo President, Oliver Luck, stated:

“We are grateful that the Mayor has taken a leadership position on the issue of a stadium for the Houston Dynamo. As we have said from the very beginning, the Dynamo cannot stay in Houston without a new venue. Robertson Stadium has provided a great home field advantage for us and a good interim platform, but it is not an economically viable option in the long term.

The new stadium is our highest priority. 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. While there are other options available to us in Houston, it is our preference to be in a location as central as possible. We very much appreciate the Mayor's interest in working with us to achieve our mutual goal of keeping the two-time defending MLS Cup Champions in Houston, and we look forward to advancing our discussions to that end."

Elsewhere, Houston Dynamo forward, Joseph Ngwenya is getting some love from

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