When Blake Randolph first received his letter in the mail from the Houston Dynamo, he was shocked by what he read. Randolph, a season-ticket holder since 2006, figured he would have a decent priority number to purchase season tickets in the new Dynamo Stadium for 2012 but never imagined he would be No. 1.
“When I got the letter, I thought it was like a Southwest Airlines flight, where there are a bunch of people who are No. 1,” Randolph said. “I immediately called my ticket rep, Mike Williams, to see what the story was, and he confirmed that I was indeed the only person with the No. 1 priority number.”
Priority numbers for 2012 season tickets were given out based on the season ticket accounts with the longest consecutive tenure with the organization. If a person purchased season tickets from 2006-2008, moved away in 2009, and came back for season tickets in 2010, they would have a similar priority number to other fans who purchased their first season tickets in 2010. Those fans who remained with the organization consecutively over the past six years were given the right to choose their seats first in the new stadium. Randolph happened to be the person who purchased his tickets the earliest out of those who never relinquished them.
A 60-year old Shreveport native, Randolph moved to Houston some 30 years before the Dynamo. After growing up in Stonewall, La., and attending a high school that only had 16 people in his graduating class, Randolph and his wife were transfered to Houston in 1975 with the Pennzoil Company. In 2005, when the city of Houston announced that it was getting a professional soccer team, Randolph, a life-long soccer fan, was intrigued. With two kids, who were both big soccer fans as well, he told his son to look into Dynamo season tickets. They initially bought two seats for the first season.
“After a while, my daughter and her friend wanted to start going too, so we increased our number to four seats,” he said. “The whole experience of going to Dynamo games has been big for our family. As our kids got older, we were not able to do as many family outings together, but going to Dynamo games has always been our thing.”
Randolph admits that due to work and travel, he has only averaged 5-6 Dynamo games a year, but he hopes to change that going forward. In addition, he hopes to bring friends out to the new stadium next season and potentially convert some new fans.
“I have a lot of friends who I would bring to the new stadium that I may not have brought with me to Robertson Stadium,” Randolph said. “Normally I will go to games with soccer fans or Dynamo fans, but now I have the opportunity to take non-soccer folks to the games, whether it’s friends, clients, or colleagues.”
As the No. 1 priority number holder, Randolph had the pick of the stadium when it came to choosing seats for 2012. He discussed it with his family and decided to purchase premium seats. The family decided to maintain a similar sightline from Robertson Stadium in section 121, so they purchased four seats in the VIP 100 level, five rows up from midfield.
Although he has a lot of great memories over the past six seasons at Robertson Stadium – including Brian Ching’s four-goal performance in the Dynamo’s first game in Houston and the overtime playoff win against Seattle in 2009 – Randolph is excited for the prospects that lie ahead with the new stadium.
“Dynamo games are events that are fun and fast, and they are events at which we always have a good time when we go,” he said. “It’s the perfect family entertainment deal, and I could not be more excited about watching my team play in the new stadium.”