Major League Soccer in the Astrodome?
How does Mayor White do it? He just got finished dreaming up a new $2 billion expansion plan for Metro and today we learn that he's been busy working on getting a Major League Soccer team in Houston:
The Astrodome might recover some of its faded glory if a Mexican club interested in bringing a professional soccer franchise to Houston has its way.
Club América, the Mexican First Division franchise that hopes to bring a Major League Soccer team to the Bayou City, has told city and county officials it would like its prospective Houston club to play at the former home of the Astros and Oilers. Officials with the Mexico City-based team, which is looking to buy MLS' San Jose Earthquakes from the Anschutz Entertainment Group and relocate it to Houston, met this week with Mayor Bill White and officials with the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp.
Club América officials met with White on Monday to discuss a potential move and its impact, city spokesman Frank Michel confirmed.
"The city is optimistic that the talks have been ongoing for some time. We have a lot of details to work out," Michel said. "The market here for sports in general but also for soccer is a potentially huge one, and I think soccer folks recognize that."
Well, yes. If there's one thing Mayor White is filled with (be nice now) it's optimism for Houston. And when city officials are filled with optimism, that generally means BIG tax bills for its citizens. All that optimism doesn't come cheap.
You'll notice that this story fails to mention who will pay for the Astrodome to be made soccer-ready. But don't worry, I have it ALL figured out: Mayor White is planning on taxpayers giving him $2 billion for his new Metro plan, right? Well, who'll notice if a stray $20 million slips through the cracks? These things happen all the time. Besides the Astrodome is at the end of the downtown rail line. I'm sure the mayor can tie it all together and sell it.
This is definitely world-class!
UPDATE: Here's Laurence Simon's take.