SBD/Issue 238/Facilities & Venues

Dynamo On Track To Break Ground On New Stadium By End Of Year

Plans For The Dynamo's New Stadium
Call For 30-35 Suites And Club Seats

The MLS Dynamo’s plans for a 22,000-seat stadium “are on track and the team hopes to begin construction by the end of the current year,” according to David Dalati of FSHOUSTON. AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke, whose company owns the Dynamo, said, “Our goal is still to be in the ground and pushing dirt by the end of this year. Tentatively, we will open the stadium sometime in the early part of the 2012 season.” In addition to the 22,000 seats, the stadium "will include 30-35 suites and club seats." Leiweke indicated that Dynamo COO Chris Canetti “will continue to lead the business side of the organization, which includes leading the stadium effort.” Leiweke “stopped short of naming Canetti the President or CEO of the Dynamo.” Leiweke said that he "considered such titles as ‘alphabet soup’" (FSHOUSTON.com, 8/24). Meanwhile, KRIB-Fox’ Mark Berman reported the Dynamo and Toyota Center “have reached an agreement related to the non-compete clause the facility had with the City of Houston and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority concerning the building of arenas that can host music events.” The agreement ensures AEG and Toyota Center, which is managed by the Rockets, "can live in harmony, and that the project to build the Dynamo’s stadium will go forward without interruption." Leiweke: “We appreciate (Rockets owner) Les (Alexander) and his crew understanding how important the stadium is to the fans of the Dynamo and the future of this sport in this city” (MYFOXHOUSTON.com, 8/24).

BUILDING A FORT: In Boston, Frank Dell'Apa noted the Revolution, Sounders and DC United are the last MLS teams to be "playing home games in stadiums designed for NFL teams," and the Revolution will “remain at the down-sized Gillette Stadium next season.” Revolution fans since the facility opened in '02 have been “allowed on only one side of the stadium and behind the north goal, which is known as The Fort, for supporters’ groups.” Revolution COO Brian Bilello said, “We want to improve the atmosphere. And we think about how to seat the fans, how to encourage them, how to get more fans to The Fort.” He added, “We have 70,000 seats, but it’s how we design the building. We will have 18,000 for a standard game. What we’ve found is there’s actually a lot of demand for midfield seats and we thought we can help that by opening up more midfield seats and closing off the top rows” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/22). 

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