Houston To Finally Get a Soccer Stadium
by: Pat Hernandez, March 23, 2010 11:03:00 pm
The stadium would be located on a piece of land bordered by Texas Avenue, Walker and Dowling Streets. The agreement calls for the Dynamo to pay roughly 60-million dollars of the construction cost, with the City of Houston
and Harris County to each pitch in 10-million in infrastructure upgrades.
"We think it's been worth the effort. We believe that Houston's a great soccer market."
Oliver Luck is president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo.
"This is an 80-million dollar stadium. We're bringing 60-million dollars to the table. We've asked the city and the county for a contribution of ten million dollars apiece through the tax increment reinvestment zone, and there is an agreement in principle on that piece. We'll be responsible for the construction. We'll be responsible for any cost overruns. We'll manage the building, much like the Astros or the Rockets manage their respective sports arenas. So, at the end of the day, I suppose we're the key player in this, but we did need help and support from the city and the county, and we're very delighted that they've come to an agreement and they're willing to work with us on this project."
David Turkel is the community services director for Harris County.
"We still need to get city council approval and commissioner's court approval so, while all of the pieces will be in place, nothing actually happens until the governing bodies say yes."
Pending approval from county commissioners, city council and the Houston Sports Authority. Andy Icken, the chief development officer for the City of Houston, says the stadium should be open in two years.
"We would hope that October one, we would turn the sight over to the contractor to build the stadium and that would be the Dynamo. So that is the target date that we are all working from."
Operations would be overseen by the Houston Sports Authority. Larry Catuzzi is the Authority's vice chairman.
"There'll be no cost to the Sports Authority, the city and the county will cover whatever cost that might be incurred by the Sports Authority in these negotiations, which I hope will be minimal. And again as both the city and county indicated, there'll be no tax dollars that will be used in this stadium. This is primarily unlike the other venues we've built, not done with bonds, but pretty much private money, other than the money that will come from the TIRZ, from both the city and the county."
The facility will also serve as the home football stadium for Texas Southern University.