Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

Canetti's Corner - November 4, 2010

Sorry for not being in touch over the last few weeks. It's been extremely busy, and I haven’t found the time to write. It is still a busy time, but I wanted to make sure I got back into some sort of blogging routine.

I often get the question, “What do you do now that it’s the off-season?” In reality, this is the busiest time of year for many of us. We have business plans, budgets, season ticket sales, sponsorships sales, scouting, etc. The off-season is our time to prepare for the party, and all of the planning and work gets done between now and March. There is no rest. In case you are counting: 89 days until pre-season camp and 136 days until opening day.

This is shaping up to be the busiest and most important off-season in the club’s history. Here are the key items we are working on:

New Stadium: We are planning to break ground on the new stadium over the next few months. Serious time, effort, and focus are being dedicated to getting the project underway. It is a complex process with many moving parts and various entities. Most of the remaining work is legal in nature.

Team: We are focused on making improvements to the team. There are a number of issues that are being addressed, and a ton of work will go into it. Dom and the coaching staff have several international scouting trips planned. He is in Brazil this week and will go to Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, and the Caribbean. We are hosting a player combine with about 20 internationals coming for trial later this month. Preparations for the college draft and the expansion draft are taking place. Evaluations and determinations on current players are being considered. Resources are being focused on our pursuit of a designated player.

Training Complex: Our new training facility, called the Houston Amateur Sports Park, will open in 2011. Getting it done is another main focus and priority. This, too, is a complex deal with many moving parts. There are several things that need to happen for this project to reach completion. It is moving along, and I expect that we’ll have our grand opening by April.

Jersey Sponsorship: One of the biggest sources of revenue to a soccer club is its jersey sponsor. Our current deal with Amigo Energy expires in December. We are in heavy pursuit of a new team jersey partner. Given the size and scope of these deals, this is another major issue and priority.

New Stadium Sales Opportunities: With the new stadium on the horizon for 2012, there are new and big opportunities in front of us. For the first time, we will have the chance to sell stadium naming rights, stadium founding partners, and suites. These are key revenue sources for the new stadium and a huge priority over the next few months.

Season Tickets: We are working to build our season ticket base to help grow the business and the sport. This is always an off-season priority and clear focus. We even had Brian Ching in the office this week making calls to ask fans to renew.

Dynamo Charities: We are committed to the community and always looking to enhance our charities program. We have engaged a new board of directors and built a new business plan for Dynamo Charities events and programs that we are focused on executing.

These are just some of the top-line issues facing us this off-season. We are busy, but in a good way. All of these things add up to opportunity and growth. It is an important time and an exciting time.

I expect that there will be positive news on all of these fronts throughout the off-season. I hope you will stay tuned to us throughout and follow the developments around these important issues.

As always, feel free to send questions and comments at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com. I will also be on Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis this coming Tuesday, November 9, from 7-8 p.m. on SportsTalk 790, talking soccer and taking your questions.