When last we looked in on the stalled Dynamo Stadium deal for East Downtown, Commissioner El Franco Lee was holding the ball. Today, the HBJ‘s Ford Gunter provides a few clues about the dealmaking behind the scenes:
Lee has steadfastly refused to comment on the issue, and did not respond to interview requests. Speaking in Lee’s place during several recent interviews, [Harris County Community Services Dept. Director David] Turkel has become more guarded, citing the delicate situation and his desire to avoid hampering a possible agreement. In a nutshell, though, Lee wants concessions from the city and the team that he has not yet received.
“Lee is not comfortable putting it on the agenda as is, because it will get voted down,” Turkel says.
For one, the county is looking at who will own the stadium after the lease runs out in about 30 years, and how that would affect a deal in which the city would buy out the county’s share. Precinct 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia wants Dynamo family ticket packs priced comparably to movie tickets, which has been more or less agreed upon.
What is Lee really after?
Fox 26’s Mark Berman is more explicit, reporting that Lee now wants the county to buy out half of the 12-acre site between Texas, Dowling, Hutchens, and Walker streets that the city has already purchased for the stadium. Berman also reports that the city and county have both asked the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority to take “a limited administrative role in construction” of the stadium. That organization’s board has a special meeting scheduled for Monday.
Any agreement would have to pass the Commissioner’s Court as well as City Council.
- City, county officials finally kick around soccer stadium deal [Houston Business Journal]
- Talks to Build Soccer Stadium May Add Critical Element [MyFox Houston]
- Dynamo Stadium coverage [Swamplot]
Rendering of proposed new Dynamo Stadium: ICON Venue Group