Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

Stadium risers set to be completed Wednesday morning

The long process of installing precast seat risers on the west and east sidelines of the new Dynamo Stadium will be completed Wednesday morning, as crews place the final two pieces in the stadium’s southeast corner. The risers provide the main shape of the 200 level on both sidelines.

Though slowed by Tuesday’s high winds that prevented cranes from moving some of the heaviest trusses, the roof canopy on the west side of the stadium is also nearing completion. The south end zone stage canopy and the east side’s roof are next on the agenda, Manhattan Construction project manager Matt Doffing said.

“Cranes will be moving, and we’ll start with the south stage canopy next week,” Doffing said. “Then we’ll start over on the east sideline canopies moving south, with the projected topping out of steel on November 12.”

The topping-out ceremony is a long-held tradition in the building industry and usually includes workers signing the final beam before it is hoisted into place and the placing of a tree on top of the beam for good luck. Doffing said it will be a chance to enjoy the progress of the past nine months.

“It’s a major deal, because there’s a lot of work to get to that point,” Doffing said. “It’s a major milestone, so we’ll take a minute to take it all in. It will have been a good accomplishment to that point. … Then you’ll stop seeing a lot of progress from the outside, and everything is crunch time until the end. There are going to be a ton of people in a very small space working to get it done by May.”

Throughout the stadium, progress continues at a remarkable rate. The southwest corner, where most stages of construction debut, is almost ready for the stadium’s distinctive skin to adorn the white steel tubing already placed there. The west side roof already stretches past the midfield President's Club, with lighting slated to be added soon.

In the north end zone, workers were laying bricks on Tuesday afternoon for the ticket office and team store located along Texas Ave. High above them, a solitary worker perched atop the frame for the stadium’s main videoboard, the highest point in the stadium.

Continuing clockwise to Dowling St., the walls for the east side concourse have been mostly completed, but it is still at an earlier stage than its counterpart on the west side.

In the south end zone, much of the focus is on the building that will house team and official locker rooms, with tilt-walls being erected outside of the stadium skin and preparations underway to build connecting entryways on the concourse.

As the Dynamo prepare for their final regular season game at Robertson Stadium, all areas of the new stadium remain on track for a May 12, 2012 grand opening. The Dynamo expect that to be the first of many fantastic memories in their new home.