Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

First seat risers placed in new stadium

The seating bowl for the 200 level of the new Dynamo Stadium began to take shape on Tuesday, as construction crews began to place the precast concrete risers on the steel structure in the stadium’s southwest corner.

The risers were placed on the steel by crane and then welded into position in the first of 10 areas throughout the stadium.

“We’ve just started the first phase of the precast risers here in Area F,” said Sean Crozier of the Manhattan Construction Company. “We anticipate finishing that up at the end of this week. … We should take about a week or a week and a half in each area, but we’ll work from two different starting spots, working counterclockwise.”

See photos from the stadium site on Tuesday

While the southwest corner is getting its concrete risers at the moment – Crozier said the west midfield and the northeast corner are next – work continues in different phases on the other areas throughout the stadium, with steel still being placed on the east side. In the next two months, however, the concrete risers will fill the stadium’s 200 level in all areas.

Meanwhile, the west side concourse is starting to take shape, with concession stands, the press box, and a media workroom at the suite level already being formed by cinder blocks underneath the steel of the 200 level. As work continues on the west side, the first stadium suites and the VIP seating section are already beginning to become visible.

“These are great times, and we look forward to watching it all come together in the next eight months,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “It’s the first week of September, and about six weeks ago we saw the first steel over in that [southwest] corner, so you can see what kind of significant progress has been made.”

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With current season ticket holders choosing their seats in the new stadium this week, Canetti takes clear pride in the sightlines he expects to be available for all fans come May 2012.

“As we start to see the shape of it in real life and compare it to the renderings and the drawings, we’re more and more impressed every time about how tight the stadium is going to be and how close people are going to be to the action,” Canetti said. “You can see where the last row of the stadium is or the front row of the 200 level, and there’s not going to be bad seat in the house whatsoever.”

MORE: Sign up for the waiting list for season tickets in the new stadium

Fans keeping a close eye on the proceedings can expect to see the stadium’s exterior begin to take shape in October, as Crozier said Manhattan Construction will begin to place the stadium roofs.

“After we get the precast set, we’re going to start to install the big canopies that go out and over the precast,” Crozier said. “That’ll actually give you your roof feel and cover for the stadium. … It’s a big undertaking. They’re large pieces of steel that come from the back of the stadium and extend out about three rows from the field. They’re in individual trusses that come through on a crane and are set.”

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