Houston City Council approves Dynamo stadium plan

County now must vote for proposed $95 million home for team

Houston's city council unanimously approved a proposal to
build a downtown soccer stadium for the Dynamo and Texas Southern University
football at their meeting Wednesday morning.

The stadium would be located on
the east side of downtown, across U.S. Highway 59 from Minute Maid Park and the
George R. Brown Convention Center.

“This is a great day for the city of Houston and a great day
for Harris County,” said Councilman James Rodriguez.

The vote had been delayed one week after Councilman Jarvis
Johnson tagged the vote expressing concern the stadium project would violate
the city’s current deal with the Houston Rockets, but those fears have since
been allayed. The proposal must now pass the Harris County Commissioners Court
before construction can begin. That vote could take place as early as Tuesday.

“We are now making firm plans in terms of architects,
contractors, and all the things we have to do to stay on schedule to open up
the 2012 season in our downtown stadium,” said Dynamo president and general manager Oliver Luck.

The entire process is estimated to cost $95 million, with
the Dynamo taking on the $60 million of stadium construction and tax increment
reinvestment zones from the city and county paying $20 million in
infrastructure improvements.

The City of Houston had already purchased the land
for $15 million and earmarked it for the stadium project.