Bellaire officials discuss possible Dynamo stadium site

February 1, 2010 8:55:18 PM PST
The message Monday night from dozens of Bellaire residents was: not in my backyard. They're opposed to a proposed new stadium for the Houston Dynamo at the intersection of South Rice and Westpark. It's not in Bellaire proper, but some say it's too close. So they took their concerns to city council.

At the annual town hall meeting, there was one concern at the top of everyone's mind and that was the proposed soccer stadium. Most of the people who spoke at Bellaire City Council oppose the plan to build a Dynamo stadium at Bellaire's back door.

"The question is: Why this location?" asked resident Jana Beatty.

Concerns from traffic to noise and reduced property values echoed from dozens of residents.

"As a person who teaches math and as a person of reason, I try to look at both sides of the coin. Truly, it doesn't make any sense," said Beatty.

Another resident, Paul Magaziner, said, "I think council and the mayor should do everything they can to stop a mixed-use that involves a stadium and the traffic that it will generate."

The location dubbed Plan B by some, places a stadium at the corner of Westpark and Rice in southwest Houston, and neighboring Bellaire. Developer Midway Companies says it proposes building a multi-use facility on the 30-acre site. While Bellaire rejects the idea, some residents on the east end embrace the initial plan to put a stadium downtown near Minute Maid Park.

"I see great potential for the city," said downtown resident Wyatt Magnum.

Especially after hearing an alternative development of a jail intake center.

"We want to support the Dynamo soccer stadium and Oliver Luck and his team want this site, Council Member Rodriguez has already supported this site, and we need to get the commissioners on board with this site. This is something we want to see, not a jail," Magnum said.

As for those associated with the Dynamo, they do have a preference.

"The downtown site would still be our preference because of all the work that's been done and we know it makes sense in terms of access and utilities, all those important things," said Dynamo President and General Manager Oliver Luck.

And a stadium anywhere is better than none at all.

"I don't think you can be choosy when it comes to it, I think we'd just like to have a new stadium," said Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear.

The developer for the proposed stadium near Bellaire, Midway Companies, did not send a representative to the Bellaire city council meeting. They say it is simply too preliminary at this point.