The giant inflatable-boat-like structure shown here afloat in an otherwise-empty East Downtown six-pack superblock is the latest rendition of . . . the new Houston Dynamo soccer stadium! The Houston Chronicle‘s Bernardo Fallas has details:
The Dynamo want to have the roughly $85 million, 22,000-seat stadium ready for opening day 2011. They envision an all-round two-level, all-seater venue with 34 suites, 86 concession point-of-sales, a 3,000 square-foot club level and a party deck on the southeast corner.
Loving that subtle “soccer fans on a life raft” imagery? It gets better: The open-air stadium’s playing surface will be a full story underground!
Plans also call for at least one canopy (west stands) and a stage (permanent or removable) on the south end. The field would be 13 feet below street level. The first seating level would be set on concrete, with aluminum for the upper level.
For it to be ready on schedule, work on the 16- to 18-month project would have to start no later than this fall.
That’s pretty soon, so you likely won’t have to wait long to hear whether this project will sink or swim. Fallas reports that the MLS team has already secured funding from BBVA Compass Bank to cover the expected $20 million in tax breaks the Dynamo hopes to receive by joining the East Downtown TIRZ. The city appears ready to sign off on an agreement, but there’s been no movement yet from county commissioners.
- Dynamo pushing ahead with stadium [Houston Chronicle]
- A First Glimpse of the New Dynamo Stadium [Swamplot]
Rendering: ICON Venue Group