Dynamo Stadium Is Just a Sketch

DYNAMO STADIUM IS JUST A SKETCH A contract to design the new Dynamo Stadium near Hutchins and Walker streets in East Downtown hasn’t been signed yet, but the firm most likely to be chosen for the job is Populous, what the same Kansas City-based architecture firm that designed Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium is now called after last year’s management buyout: “As of now, there are no blueprints for the project. Any drawings of the stadium are conceptual. ‘The only work that has been done to date is to make sure the stadium property, the six city blocks, are adequate,’ [Dynamo general manager Oliver] Luck said. ‘We didn’t start serious architectural design work. This piece of property is adequate for a 20,000- to 21,000-seat stadium with suites.’ . . . The playing field is expected to be 13 feet below grade, and the lower bowl will be cast in place concrete. The upper bowl will extend above grade. Also, like nearby Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, the major concourse will be at grade. As Astros fans do when they show up for a home game, Dynamo fans will enter the stadium through the main concourse on ground level. The Dynamo plan to have a roof canopy on the east and west sidelines to protect fans against the sun and rain.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Populous

13 Comment

  • “..the same Kansas City-based architecture firm that designed Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium…”
    Yippee, 3 of the most boring, derivative, and architecturally insignificant sports facilities in the country; now Houston gets another. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

  • Are we paying for this, or is the Dynamo? I’ve never understood why we, the taxpayers, should have to front one dime for sports palaces, unless they are leased to the teams for some fairly large portion of the gross revenues.

  • One last time – The Dynamo are paying for the stadium. ALL OF IT. The TIRZ money is only being used for roads, sidewalks, and sewers, which is a perfectly acceptable expenditure of public funds. Which wouldn’t exist without the stadium in the first place.

    @John – we met with the architects Wednesday before the game. Received assurances that the design will be modern and eye-catching. Someone suggested the possibility of sticking with the red-brick warehouse motif, and that was summarily dismissed. Not gonna happen. I asked them if it would be possible to recreate their masterpiece in Incheon (http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/10/09/incheon-stadium_7_j2WNP_69.jpg) for only $60M…

  • Nord: It does not matter how many times you tell people that the Dynamo are paying for the stadium and that the TIRZ funds are paying for the rest…some people just don’t get it. They are either die-hard American football fans who don’t care about any other sports or they are people like Barry Klein who are just against everything that can be construed or more properly “mis-construed” as using tax payer funds. It always gets headlines being against taxpayer use of funds for anything. It is hopeless when you are dealing with narrow minded people who will not examine the facts. This is a terrific deal for the City and the County, quite unlike all the previous sport stadium deals. The money from the TIRZ would not exist if the stadium does not get built in this depressed part of the City. When it is all said and done the City and the County will have received title to a stadium for nothing more than $7.5 million apiece. The City and the County split the cost of the land and they get a $60 to $80 million dollar stadium and property! For those who pooh-pooh THIS deal, where in the world were they when the other three stadiums were built? Why didn’t you raise your voices then? We have the highest hotel and motel and car rental tax in the nation paying for these other three stadiums and that indirectly and directly costs all of the City and County taxpayers a lot of money. Indirectly because many conventions skip us because of the exhorbitant tax. Directly because rental cars have such a high tax. Directly, further, because the taxpayers are on the hook if the hotel/motel/car rental tax income is not sufficient to retire those bonds. John, you waste your time when trying to explain this. Either the people are just too dense or they are so intent on just being “against” everything that you are casting your pearls before swine in your efforts to present the facts. They are not going to listen. They are too busy just lost in their own little worlds of just being “against”. Facts just clutter things up.

  • Part of her focus in inheriting the Dynamo issue from her predecessor, Bill White, was to ensure that the city’s $15.5 million investment in land paid off.

    Sounds like we’re paying for part of it to me.

    For those who pooh-pooh THIS deal, where in the world were they when the other three stadiums were built?
    There was a huge outcry against those also.

    I’m not necessarily against this deal but Jim, Nord and SL there’s no need to flip out over someone asking a reasonable question. Maybe we should all stop commenting on articles and just google everything.

  • jgriff, Ross didnt even do his homework before setting loose his anti-gov spending rant. Know before you go. Jim and Nord are just frustrated by having to regurgitate the truth to people who won’t feed themselves. part of it is human nature, part of it is soccer being the red-headed stepchild of pro sports in this country while it’s the dominant sport worldwide. Houston has a great soccer team in the Dynamo and more people should give them and the sport a chance rather than summarily dismissing it based on outdated stereotypes.

  • SL: Ross was not rude. Let me Google that for you is rude. He asked a legitimate question which you were not required to answer. I didn’t know homework was required on this site. I got enough of that in junior high.

    Since everyone else wants to go on a tirade instead of answering your questions Ross; here are my answers.

    1. Yes
    2. Me either

    I guess I’m a soccer hater now even though if you asked these questions about any stadium I’d give you the same answer. I couldn’t care less about Football, Soccer, Basketball or Baseball. I’ve never been to a single game and never plan on going.

  • So anyways, Googling “houston dynamo stadium development” doesn’t bring up any specifics on the deal.

    Statements are made as to the effect of,

    “Houston and Harris County are only paying for transportation infrastructure”

    “Dynamo are paying 75% of the costs of construction”

    “Dynamo are paying for the whole stadium”

    “Houston and Harris County will own the stadium once complete”

    I am okay with the city and county improving infrastructure when new developments warrant, although I am also not unsympathetic to the argument that this represents a subsidy to developers. I also don’t think the use of TIRZs is necessarily good public policy.

    The part that worries me the most is the city and county’s ownership and lease arrangement with the Dynamo. I have not seen anything that convinces me that this is not just a way to pass on the ownership cost to the taxpayer while keeping all revenue and profits for the Dynamo.

    Also, Jim, expressing potential disagreement with this deal does not prove that I did not also disagree with public funding of the other stadiums.

    And, expressing potential disagreement does not prove that I am an idiot American who does not understand the beautiful game. I have played soccer my whole life and would love for the Dynamo to get a nice stadium and stay here in Houston. This would benefit me greatly, but I recognize that my personal benefits and good public policy are not necessarily one in the same.

    Expressing potential disagreement, really only proves that I do not necessarily trust a bunch of politicos and millionaires when they get together and tell me that some public-private scheme is not going to cost the taxpayer a dime.

  • I actually like soccer – I’ve seen it all over the world, and it’s a great game. I don’t like subsidizing the stadiums. I was opposed to the previous three as well. If the stadiums were leased by the teams for market rates, I might be more supportive of them, but the team owners make out like bandits while the rest of us pick up the tab.

    I also tend to think that the TIRZ concept is bad policy, as there’s too much leeway for self serving use of the money.

  • The stadium should have a 360 degree terrace. The fans would be able to completely walk around the stadium and still see the game. Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium both have this. Plus, the stadium would bring more air in which will be needed for games in August.

  • I am thrilled that this deal finally got done. It is much more favorable to the taxpayers than Enron, er, MinuteMaid Field, and if it isn’t made to look fake-old, more the better! Robertson Stadium was not a viable long term solution, as the ‘pitch’ is simply too small.

    Also, having a downtown soccer stadium will help Houston in its ongoing efforts to declare itself ‘World-Class’.

  • I can’t wait for the new stadium! I’ve been waiting for ages. We also need a top tier hockey team in Houston.