The Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer broke ground today on their 22,000-seat soccer stadium in downtown Houston's East End.
Dignitaries such as AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, Dynamo equity partner Oscar de la Hoya, MLS President Mark Abbott, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett participated in the groundbreaking festivities, while Dynamo all-time leading scorer Brian Ching kicked a ceremonial first goal on the stadium site.
Excavation of the site and construction of the stadium is expected to begin shortly, and the Dynamo hope to play their first game in the new stadium by mid-2012. The stadium is located in downtown Houston, within walking distance of Minute Maid Park, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and the Toyota Center. In addition to soccer games, the new stadium will host Texas Southern University football, concerts, boxing matches, and more.
The stadium will be operated by the Dynamo and leased from the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. It is located closer to downtown than any other American stadium built for soccer and will be easily accessible to fans from the entire Houston area.
AEG Facilities, the world's largest venue manager, will manage the stadium on behalf of the Dynamo. The stadium will be included in AEG Facilities' worldwide network of more than 100 elite venues across five continents.
Renowned architectural firm Populous designed the stadium, which will be constructed by Houston-based Manhattan Construction and overseen by the ICON Venue Group. Additional companies working on the site are landscape architect Clark Condon, structural engineer Walter P. Moore, and civil engineer WGA, all companies based in Houston.
Tickets for the Dynamo's new stadium will be offered first to fans holding Dynamo season tickets. Fans with longer consecutive tenure as season ticket holders will have higher priority to choose their seats. Interested parties may also sign up for a waiting list for tickets in the new stadium in 2012 at DynamoStadium.com.
The Dynamo's 2011 MLS regular season opener is set for Saturday, March 19, against the Philadelphia Union at Robertson Stadium.
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five seasons and represented the United States in international competition four consecutive years from 2007-10.