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MLS stadium plans pursued in Houston and San Jose; Pacific Northwest expansion options
by Ridge Mahoney, May 15th, 2007 8:30AM



Several Houston news outlets have reported that the Dynamo will sign a letter of intent with the city of Houston and the two sides will research the feasibility of building a downtown stadium to house the team. A possible location is a site near Minute Maid Park, home of the MLB Astros.

Letters of intent are not binding but this agreement temporarily gives the city of Houston exclusive negotiation rights. Club president Oliver Luck had been discussing a project with City of Sugar Land officials.

Oakland A's co-owner Lew Wolff, snubbed in his effort to reach an agreement with San Jose State University officials to build a new facility for SJSU teams as well as a revived Earthquakes franchise, is now looking at a parcel of land between the San Jose International Airport and Santa Clara University.

The parcel of land is owned by the city of San Jose and the university would not be directly involved.
When MLS officials and Wolff held a press conference prior to the Mexico-Ecuador friendly at the Oakland Coliseum March 28, notably absent was any representative from San Jose State. Wolff has said he met several times with SJSU president Don Kassing, but the pair couldn't reach an agreement and talks broke down in early April.

Wolff's original plan was to persuade the city to rezone 75 acres of land on which Wolff would build homes, and use the revenue to fund the building of the stadium. The city paid $81.5 million to purchase the land Wolff is now interested in, and buying the parcel could drastically alter his financial formulas.

California real estate developer Michael Keston is researching the feasibility of placing an MLS expansion team in Portland or Seattle. Keston, 67, has inspected PG&E Park in Portland and is also considering Qwest Field in Seattle, where the NFL Seahawks play, and through an agreement with MLS holds exclusive rights for an expansion team in those cities.

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