Houston stadium go for launch

Final approval goes through; developers eye 2012 opening

The Houston Dynamo organization and fans got the official news
Tuesday morning that the Harris County Commissioners Court has voted to
formally approve the Houston Dynamo stadium project. 

For
the players and coaches who made the difficult decision to move their
families from San Jose to Houston almost five years ago with promises
that a soccer stadium was on its way, the news today provided some
consolation that their personal sacrifices were justified.

“I’m
happy for the guys and the fans and the front office that has worked so
hard since we moved here to Houston,” Houston coach Dominic Kinnear
said. “I always think back to the first time we were here in December
2005 at City Hall, and the whole thought behind the move was: ‘We’re
getting a stadium.’  We’ve had some great times here, and I’m thrilled.”

The
vote passed 5-0 at the Harris County Commissioners Court. That vote,
along with City Council’s vote last week, means that the major public votes
are now behind the Dynamo. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority will now negotiate the
lease with the Dynamo, and the team hopes to begin construction in the
fall of this year with hopes that stadium will open before the 2012
season. 

“I think it’s awesome,” Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis
said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for it, and it's special for me.
I’ve been in the league nine years and have never played in a soccer-specific stadium. ”

While some players moved with the franchise
from San Jose, the team’s local players like Tyler Deric provided a bit
of a different perspective on the stadium and how they believe it will
impact the Houston soccer community.

“I think it’s a great
thing for Houston,” the Houston native told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s going
to be a great opportunity for soccer and for it to be more of an
influence for all the players and the kids who will enjoy the stadium.
It would have been great for me growing up if I had a stadium I could
go to.”

“It’s great for the team and the community and I’m
looking forward to it,” Deric added. “Being a Houstonian, it gives me
extra incentive to work harder so that one day I can just imagine
myself [playing] and looking up at a stadium in my hometown with the
Houston skyline in the background. That would be a dream of mine.”

The
contributions that the current and former Dynamo players made on the
field and as ambassadors of their sport in this city have helped pave
the way for this stadium deal. There was also a wealth of
support from the coaches, front office staff, and fans who have worked
tirelessly in support of both the franchise and the stadium.

“It’s
a great city for soccer, and our fan support has been fantastic,” noted
Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis. “I feel like the stadium will help a lot,
and I’m looking forward to the project.”

“I think we got
everyone on board finally,” noted Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad. "I
understand everyone taking their time to make sure it was the right
decision. I think we’ll show in the future and the years to come that
they stuck their necks out for the right people and the right
franchise.”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com.  Questions or Comments can be sent via email to dwaincapodice@gmail.com.