[MLS] At a press conference Tuesday, Anschutz Entertainment Group president and CEO Tim Leiwekeprovided an update on plans to build a stadium for the Houston Dynamo.
Construction is projected to begin on an $80 million stadium project in downtown Houston by the end of 2010, with the team scheduled to begin playing in the facility by the start of the 2012 MLS season. Negotiations are ongoing with the Harris County/Houston Sports Authority regarding a lease and AEG, which jointly owns the team along a consortium led by businessman Gabriel Brenerand boxer Oscar De La Hoya, is seeking financing from potential partners.
“Substantial progress has been made over recent weeks, and we are confident that these partnerships will be finalized soon,” said Leiweke in a team press release. “Our timeline is aggressive, and our focus is clear.”
Populous has been hired as the project’s lead architect, and bids are being accepted from general contractors. ICON Venue Services has been hired as project manager.
The stadium capacity will be approximately 22,000. It will be the home field for the Dynamo and Texas Southern University football games. In April, the Harris County commissioners voted approval of a plan to build on a 30-acre parcel east of Minute Maid Park, home of the Major League Baseball Houston Astros.
Since AEG moved the team from San Jose to Houston prior to the 2006 season, the Dynamo has played at Robertson Stadium (capacity: 32,000) on the University of Houston campus.
Under the financial package approved by the city and county authorities, AEG and its partners would fund the $60 million construction cost of the stadium; the other $20 million would be channeled into infrastructure improvements with monies generated by a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) jointly operated by the county and city.