Dynamo Get Stadium Deal

The Houston Dynamo is one step closer to building a soccer stadium. The City of Houston approved an agreement with Harris County and the Sports Authority to allow development of the new stadium to begin. Laurie Johnson reports.

In the midst of a budget crisis and a looming $100 million shortfall, city council unanimously approved a $10 million investment in infrastructure and improvements around the site of the proposed stadium in East Downtown.

The deal calls for Harris County to put in an equal amount toward neighborhood improvements, with the Dynamo supplying the remaining $60 million to build the facility.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says she hopes the investment will generate more development and tax revenue in the longterm.

"It's not going to have an impact on my ability to balance this current budget or the next budget. And to be very clear, and I want everybody to hear this, both the city and county's investment of TIRZ funds is in infrastructure, public spaces around the Dynamo stadium. It is not to actually build the Dynamo stadium."

The deal still has to be confirmed by county commissioners next week. But Team President Oliver Luck says they can start making plans to break ground this fall.

"The construction industry is on its back right now and we're not going to solve that problem by ourselves, but it's one more project that will keep Houstonians busy, keep contractors, sub-contractors working. So it's an $80 million building, we're going to spend that money on folks in Houston. That's one of the commitments that we've made. So we think it's the right time, absolutely."

The Dynamo have been in Houston less than five years. They won back to back Major League Soccer championships in their first two seasons. The new stadium is scheduled to open for their 2012 season.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...