[REACTION] AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, who attended a ground-breaking ceremony Saturday for a new 22,000-seat soccer stadium near downtown Houston that MLS's Houston Dynamo will occupy sometime next year, says the MLS club finally will have a stadium worthy of its success on the field.
AEG moved the team from San Jose five years ago and is involved in its fourth MLS soccer stadium project after building the Home Depot Center and being involved in projects in Chicago and New York.
This is the reaction from Saturday's ground-breaking ceremony:
Tim Leiweke, AEG President & CEO
"This team has given Houston two championships and a variety of great games throughout its brief history. Now we’re giving its players the opportunity to continue creating memories in their own, state-of-the-art, soccer-specific stadium. I promise to the City of Houston , we will build you the finest facility for soccer ever created … we won’t let you down.”
Dynamo President of Business Operations Chris Canetti
"The Dynamo organization has enjoyed many memorable moments in its first five years, but up until today this moment has only been a dream. Now our dream is coming true, and with this moment, our very own stadium will soon be a reality. We couldn't be more excited and thrilled."
Dynamo equity partner Oscar de La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions)
"As one of the team's owners, I have to say that this is a very proud day for me. We've fought many battles to ensure that the Dynamo have a suitable stadium to play in, and now, after years of negotiations, we're at a point where we can say we've delivered for our team. This is a day for soccer fans all over Houston to rejoice and enjoy. Now that the stadium is a reality, we can definitely consider it as a venue for high-profile boxing matches. Houston is known nationally not only for having great soccer fans, but also for having some of the most passionate boxing fans in the country. That, added to all the talented boxers we have in this city, will make the new Dynamo stadium the place to be in Texas to watch not only great soccer, but also quality boxing."
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber
"The ground-breaking for the Dynamo's new stadium is another step forward in building the beautiful game in North America. Soccer-specific stadiums serve as true homes for the community, and these venues are placing permanent roots for the professional game in the United States and Canada. More importantly, the Dynamo's new stadium will serve as an inspirational destination for the countless young soccer players in the area who will be able to play in the shadows of this incredible venue with the hope of someday playing on the same field as their heroes."
Houston Mayor Annise Parker
"We believe the stadium is going to be good for the citizens of Houston, excellent for that end of downtown, and it will spur economic growth around it. It will make a really dynamic triangle with the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, and now the new Dynamo stadium -- with the George R. Brown Convention Center right in the middle of the action."
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear
"It's one of the main reasons why we came here a little over five years ago, so we've all been on the outside of it waiting for it to happen. It's finally happening, so it makes the move justified. I'm very happy for the organization, for the fans, for the city, and most importantly I'm very happy for the players who sacrificed for it in the first place."