It’s been a month since the first match at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it seems like a lot longer than that. Opening day could not have gone better, from all perspectives, including the win. People often ask me what I remember most about that day. I say that it is the reaction of the fans. For me, it was rewarding to witness all of the joy the new stadium, and the environment around it, brought to their faces.
Since then, we have hosted three other Dynamo matches. The results have been great and the stadium has performed admirably with only slight hiccups for us to work through. The Dynamo have gone 2-0-1 in MLS play and battled Valencia to a 2-1 loss in the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup. In addition, all four matches were sold out.
On Saturday, we will host FC Dallas and we expect the streak of consecutive sellouts to extend to five. Very few tickets remain.
I am proud to say that we were able to work with MLS and ESPN to move the kickoff time of this match from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Typically, we do not play day games in Houston, but with the stadium opening on May 12 and the league’s desire to showcase BBVA Compass Stadium on national TV early in the season, we ended up with three matches during the hot afternoons. After the LA Galaxy game, it became obvious that we needed to seek an alternative. This time change is good for the players and fans and should make for a better environment and experience.
The Valencia match was an overall success. It was an entertaining game in front of a great crowd, and raised some good money for Dynamo Charities. Bringing one of Europe’s top clubs to Houston has always been a goal; however it wasn’t easy at Robertson Stadium. Now, our new state-of-the-art world class facility enables us more opportunities to host such events. Clubs are more willing to come and the economics are more favorable. We look forward to doing many more of these matches in the future.
For the rest of this year, our international matches will count and be focused on the CONCACAF Champions League. We have four matches in group play, two home and two away. We will battle Olimpia (Honduras) and FAS (El Salvador) in group play later this summer. The dates have not yet been determined. We are excited about this draw and look forward to competing for our chance to move through the group stage and into the next round. Tickets for the two home games are part of the Dynamo full-season ticket package. We will announce more information on individual tickets once the scheduled is released.
Sunday’s match at Vancouver was difficult. We hate making excuses as a club, but I think it is legitimate to say that without Geoff Cameron, Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, and Je-Vaughn Watson, it was a tough hill to climb. We look to bounce back on Saturday and get into a better rhythm where we will have seven of the next 10 games at home. This will be a critical time for us to make a push up the standings.
As you know, last week we signed a new player in Oscar Boniek Garcia. We are excited to have him in orange. He comes from Honduras where he starred for his club and country. He brings a lot of great attributes and talent to the team and is expected to do very well here. We acquired him via a full transfer from Olimpia. The summer transfer window opens on June 27, so his first game of eligibility will be June 30 at home vs. the Philadelphia Union. Until then, he will play for Honduras in World Cup Qualifiers, while we work to secure his visa. His estimated time of arrival in Houston is around June 18-20. He will wear number 27 and have Boniek on the back of his jersey.
We are interested in making another addition during this summer’s window and have held aside cap room for this purpose. Various opportunities are being explored at the moment.
I hope you have already had a chance to attend a match at the new stadium. If not, I hope you will get out to a match soon. I am confident that you will find it to be a wonderful experience.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. Feel free to follow me on twitter @chriscanetti.