East End residents want Dynamo stadium there

February 9, 2010 3:27:49 PM PST
The fight over the location of the proposed Houston Dynamo soccer stadium is heating up. On Tuesday, some east Houston residents put pressure on county commissioners to bring the stadium to their neighborhood, mainly because they don't like the possible alternative. With property values hanging on the line and a vacant lot still undeveloped, residents from the East End once again took their concerns to elected leaders.

"I expected this to have been voted on a long time ago," said East End resident Rachel DeCordova. "This deal is really a no brainer."

This time, they're asking county commissioners to take action on a plan that would put the new Dynamo stadium in their part of town.

"Make it happen, make it happen for the East End and downtown area, especially for our minority community, the children, the youth," argued resident Marilu de la Fuente to Harris County commissioners Tuesday.

The plan, which was conceived during former Mayor Bill White's term, was designed like this. The city would buy the land for $15 million, and pay $10 million for infrastructure. The county, in turn, would contribute $10 million of its own money, with the Dynamo paying for the construction of the stadium.

The problem, however, is that the county and city have yet to work out the finer details, like ultimate ownership and upkeep. County commissioner Jerry Eversole questioned why residents came to commissioners court when the issue hasn't even made the agenda.

"This is at least the third time we've discussed Dynamo Stadium and it's no further today than it was three months ago or four months ago," he said.

But Judge Ed Emmett reminded the commissioner that's why residents were there, because a decision had not been made, understanding concerns that if the deal falls through, something less attractive could end up on the site. He points out that's it's not every day a team is willing to build its own stadium.

"So let's find out what the hang-ups are, what the sticking points are," said Judge Emmett. "Let's move forward. Let's make something happen."

For this issue to be put on the agenda, it'd have to be put there by Commissioner El Franco Lee. We tried to contact his office, but he refused comment. We know city and county leaders plan to meet on Wednesday about the stadium.