City ready to cough up millions for new Dynamo stadium

What was the first thought that went through your mind when you learned the Dynamo had won their second MLS championship?

Let's give them a stadium!

Sure enough:

The Houston Dynamo, fresh off the team's second straight championship, could have a private-public deal to build a stadium in place within weeks, city and team officials said Monday.

"I'm hopeful we can put a good deal together," said Andy Icken, the city's deputy director of public works, who is heading negotiations for the city. "If we're going to be successful, we'll be successful in the next two weeks."

Some members of the team, which won its second straight Major League Soccer championship Sunday by defeating the New England Revolution, said they are wondering why it is taking so long to secure a stadium deal.

"Mayor White, listen up: This team deserves it (a stadium)," Dynamo defender Craig Waibel said.

Feel free to kick in some money there, Mr. Waibel. No one "deserves" a stadium that uses taxpayer dollars, but the city is still willing to give the Dynamo millions:

White is seeking a deal that would not require the city to contribute public money. While AEG's proposal calls for the company to bear most of the construction costs, it still would require the city to provide millions of dollars in needed infrastructure improvements, city and team officials said.

"We're prepared to put in the preponderance of the money for the stadium," Luck said. "I'm reluctant to say whether it would be $60 million, $62 million or $72 million," he said. "But we are asking the city for some financial help, no two ways about it."

Infrastructure improvements could include building streets to a stadium site and paying for expanded water lines and other utilities, Icken said.

AEG and the city are negotiating a second deal that would call on the city to provide land for a team practice facility. It could be located in a proposed city soccer complex in south Houston near Texas 288 and Almeda-Genoa.

Recall back in February, Andy Icken admitted the city had not yet worked out how to pay for the millions the city has decided to invest. And remember when Mayor White worked hard to gut Proposition 2, because he thought it too limited the city's ability to "improve" Houston?

Millions for infrastructure improvements for a new soccer stadium should make Houston very Manhattan-like.

BLOGVERSATION: Lose an Eye, It's a Sport.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 11/20/07 05:12 AM | Print |

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