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 firstname.lastname@example.org.