Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Houston Dynamo's 'troubling situation'
by Paul Kennedy, April 17th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

To say the least, the first three weeks of the 2008 MLS season have not gone as the two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo would have liked.

It was dumped from the Concacaf Champions Cup by Costa Rica's Saprissa. It's winless in its first three games of the 2008 MLS season and must play its next three games without starting center back Eddie Robinson (click here for article on his suspension).

On top of that was Wednesday's release of an April 4 letter from MLS Commissioner Don Garber to the Dynamo owners regarding the "troubling situation" regarding their inability to conclude a soccer stadium deal with the City of Houston.

The letter from Garber to co-owners Philip Anschutz, Gabriel Brener and boxer Oscar De La Hoya emphasizes the irony of MLS's only relocation in league history. And the MLS commissioner said the league and the Dynamo's owners must consider their options for ensuring the team "has a path to economic success" -- options that would include yet another relocation.

While Anschutz's AEG moved the MLS team from San Jose to Houston in part because of problems as a tenant at a college facility, San Jose State's Spartan Stadium, the Houston team remains, according to Garber, "a secondary tenant in a college football facility" -- in this case, the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium.

Since then, MLS has returned to San Jose, where its new ownership is making significant progress on its own agreement with the local municipality on a deal for the construction of a soccer-specific stadium -- more progress than the group that left San Jose is making in the market it moved to.

To be fair, a Houston stadium deal is in the works -- a six-block track of land just east of downtown has been set aside by the City of Houston.

What remains to be done is for the Dynamo's owners and the City of Houston to reach an agreement on the public/private financing of the project. The economics are no different than have been at issue in other MLS cities, nor are the politics. No stadium deal has reached its conclusion without big-time posturing between the MLS ownership group and the city that are supposed to be working together.

Garber's letter wasn't well received in Houston.

The headline in the Houston Chronicle article on Garber's letter was "MLS threat a slap to Dynamo fans," while Houston Mayor Bill White said in response to the letter, "I've gotten a little bit of a reputation, probably deserved, that I don't respond well to threats. I smiled."

An April 1 deadline on an agreement between the Dynamo and the City of Houston for the new stadium came and went -- which promoted Garber's letter of April 4.

In the meantime, the Chronicle reported that Dynamo officials said the estimated cost of building the 20,000 plus-seat stadium had increased from $80 to $90 million to $105 million.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Michael Garcia    
"It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude ...
Video Pick: Player loses his wig!    
The 19-year-old defender Baily Cargill was one of the top rated players for second division Bournemouth ...
MLS Trade Central: Wednesday's deals    
MLS and Chivas de Guadalajara reached an agreement regarding Mexican star Erick "Cubo" Torres, who played ...
NASL will open 2015 spring season on April 4    
The North American Soccer League will open its fifth season with the first week of the ...
Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too    
It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the ...
U.S. Abroad: Midweek Hot (and Cold) List    
John Brooks scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season for Hertha Berlin to open the ...
Road to Vancouver: More to Brazil than Marta    
Marta, whose magnificent performance powered Brazil past the USA Sunday at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
TV Report: Fox plans unprecedented coverage    
The 2015 Women's World Cup will receive unprecedented coverage on Fox as it will air 16 ...
Klinsmann red-carded in starring role against Germany    
Jonathan Klinsmann's first international match against Germany, the country his father, Jurgen, played for and coached, ...
Olsen sees new D.C. stadium as one piece of grand plan    
He's D.C. United through and through, so head coach and former player Ben Olsen knows better ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives