January 11, 2008
More on Dynamo Stadium

Chron soccer writer Bernardo Fallas looks at the state of the stadium negotiations, and sees the reason why it's taken this long.

Just six weeks ago both sides seemed poised to shake hands and come out of City Hall victorious. Those were the good ol' days, when the gap that separated them was narrow and closing.

The city wanted to facilitate the land and have the Dynamo's parent company, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, pay for a 22,000-seat, open-air stadium. AEG wanted some help to offset the estimated $70 million to $80 million cost but was willing to endure the brunt of it. Nothing a little negotiating couldn't resolve, it seemed.

Things have grown comp-licated since, and AEG -- and by association the Dynamo -- has no one to blame but itself.

That's because, parallel to its negotiations with the city about a stadium, AEG felt the need to put the Dynamo on the selling block to concentrate on its MLS gold mine that is the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Has it caused the city to take a step back and wait until the dust settles? You bet. You would, too, if you were about to invest a small fortune and your soon-to-be partner suddenly wanted out. Does he want out because a better opportunity has come along, or because he has little or no confidence on the investment?

Reality is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, there are plenty of ways for the city to guard its investment, and that might very well not be a concern these days.

Interference from the potential buyer might be, though. A group of investors that includes boxer Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions business partner Gabriel Brener has shown strong interest in acquiring the Dynamo. De La Hoya and Co. have studied the deal being worked on by AEG and the city and they are bound to have opinions, suggestions and even demands.

What if, for example, De La Hoya wants White to pony up more dough for the stadium? After all, plenty of public money (read: hundreds of millions of dollars) was used to build such sports palaces as Reliant Stadium, Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park.

You almost have to feel for Dynamo president Oliver Luck, who has worked his tail off trying to get a deal done only to have his bosses throw him a curveball.

Note his minor correction here. Meanwhile, Christof observes that that stadium will require more than one city block, and that may put it in the path of the Harrisburg and Southeast rail lines. Oops. Check out Christof's map and see for yourself.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 11, 2008 to Other sports