November 21, 2007
More cheering for Dynamo Stadium

Yesterday's celebration of the Dynamo's second consecutive MLS championship turned into an impromptu rally in favor of Dynamo Stadium.

Also present were several Houston City Council members and Mayor Bill White, who congratulated the team but not before enduring chants of "Where's our stadium? Where's our stadium?" from many of the more than 2,500 in attendance.

"If you don't like Dynamo soccer, you don't like sports," White said.

Minutes earlier, Councilman Adrian Garcia had gotten the crowd going.

"Let's make it (a stadium) happen," Garcia said.

As I said before, if it doesn't happen now, I don't know when it ever would. I predict it'll happen by Tuesday next week. Could be sooner, but I figure they won't want to make such an announcement over a holiday weekend. We'll see.

In that previous post, a commenter asked the quite reasonable question "Why can't they play at the Astrodome?" I can't think of any reason why they "can't", in the sense that there's no legal issue that would bar them from doing so, but I can think of at least four reasons why they wouldn't and won't:

1. The fan experience at the Dome would be lousy. Going by the capacity of the stadium they want to build, the team expects its average crowd to be in the 10,000 to 20,000 range. At that size, the Dome would be like a cavern, and its seats would be too far from the action.

2. Given that expected crowd size and what I figure the operating costs of the Dome (think air conditioning), I'd have my doubts that the Dynamo could cover their operating expenses. It would certainly not be optimal, and likely not desirable for them to be in that position.

3. Even if the Dome were a good fit for them, it would still require some upgrades and maintenance to be suitable for regular dates. I attended a couple of concerts at the Dome during its last Rodeo, and it struck me then as being in sad shape. The county isn't going to want to pay for this, and it makes no sense for the Dynamo to do so either, especially when they can pursue a new venue for what's likely to be about the same cost.

4. The Dynamo don't want to be tenants. The reason the franchise moved here from San Jose was because they wanted their own stadium, which they couldn't get out there. Why would they abandon that goal now?

So there you have it.

UPDATE: Miya has pictures.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 21, 2007 to Other sports

After seeing an FC Dallas game with my kids last year at their new Frisco stadium I'm sold on the idea of "boutique" soccer stadiums for MLS teams. The soccer stadium in Frisco is an absolute gem and a first-rate experience for family viewing. They have wide concourses, lots of excellent food venders (BBQ, Pizza Hut etc.) and wonderful sight-lines from everywhere in the stadium. Simply stated there isn't a single bad seat in the stadium. The area is surrounded by youth soccer fields so the entire complex is a major soccer mecca for the region.

Soccer should be played on grass in mid-sized open-air stadiums. I don't know anything of the economics of Houston or the Dynamo, but if they can't find room for even one dedicated soccer stadium in the giant Houston metro area then one has to wonder about the future of the sport in Texas.

Posted by: Kent on November 21, 2007 4:38 PM