Mayor White: Dynamo and city are working constructively on stadium deal

According to the Chron's Bernardo Fallas, negotiations on the Dynamo's soccer stadium are moving along:

Mayor Bill White joined other community leaders at Houston Community College's South Campus to unveil plans for an adjacent 18-field, soccer-centered youth sports complex near Texas 288 and Airport Boulevard that will also serve as the Dynamo's training facility.

White also met with Leiweke for more than an hour as both sides work toward a stadium deal.

"We had a good meeting," Leiweke said. "Today was significant because I think we're down to one or two issues they're big - but one or two issues."

Calling the meeting productive, White said negotiations are in the advanced stages and agreed that points of contention have been narrowed down.

"We're working constructively with each other," White said.

The sticking points, White and Leiweke said, involve money and how a $110 million, 22,000-capacity facility would be financed. White warned those points could still be deal killers.

Asked what those points are, White didn't hesitate.

"Money," he said.

The Dynamo's parent company wants to build the stadium near downtown. The city recently spent $15 million to buy five blocks of land and swapped for a sixth block just southeast of Minute Maid Park and U.S. 59. The tract, located near Texas and Dowling streets, would house the stadium, and White has said the city could find other uses for it should the deal fall through.

White also said the proposed youth soccer complex, which the Dynamo are a partner in, will not be affected by the outcome of the stadium negotiations. That facility is expected to open by late next year.

Even though Mayor White says he learned his lesson about transparency, he's obviously not quite ready to put that lesson into action: He's still not sharing details.

It's also on point to remember that whenever Mayor White really wants to do something, he'll find the money to do it. Emergency radio system -- not a priority. Youth soccer complex and Dynamo stadium -- priorities.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 06/26/08 07:54 PM | Print |

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