SBD/Issue 179/Facilities & Venues

Prospective Architects Of Dynamo Stadium Face Proposal Deadline

Deadline For Dynamo Stadium Architect
Proposals Set For Friday

The firm managing the development of a new MLS stadium for the Dynamo has set today as the deadline for five architects to resubmit proposals to design an $80M downtown facility. Icon Venue Group, co-owned by Dynamo owner AEG, re-issued the stadium design RFP on Monday with the quick turnaround, repeating part of the process from two years ago when architects first bid for the job. The initial process was suspended, however, after the Dynamo and city and county officials could not agree on a finance package to build a 21,000-seat stadium in Houston, said Icon Senior VP and Project Exec Charlie Thornton. The three parties recently resolved the issue, with the Dynamo committing $60M and the city and county agreeing to pay the remaining $20M. As a result, the RFP was sent out again Monday to Houston Sports Consultants, HKS, Ellerbe Becket/Kirsey, Populous and Rossetti to collect updated information from each firm on staffing changes and modifications to their subcontractors' list since their original submissions in '08. "Our intent is that AEG needs to be made aware of how things have changed since the [original] interviews so that we can move forward," Thornton said. "There are no more interviews scheduled based on those initial conversations." Populous, the K.C.-based firm that designed Houston's three major league facilities -- Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and Toyota Center -- was the Dynamo's initial choice before the project got sidetracked by disagreements over financing, according to industry sources. No contract has been signed, confirmed Populous Brand Manager Gina Leo. "Populous, more than anybody else, has helped us provide guidance and helped us get to this point," said Dynamo President & GM Oliver Luck. "They have nosed ahead, given their knowledge of the project. The final call is up to Icon and AEG." The architect selected for the job will be notified by next Friday, followed by the process to select a builder by July 15, according to the RFP. The plan is to start work on the site Dec. 1 with the stadium targeted to open on April 1, 2012.

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