Dynamo break ground on new stadium

February 5, 2011 8:03:22 PM PST
The new $95 million soccer stadium for the Houston Dynamo is going up just east of downtown. City and county leaders broke ground on it Saturday afternoon.

It's going up off Dowling and Texas Avenue. The stadium is expected to be finished in a little more than a year.

People who live and work in the area hope it will bring an economic boom.

Today's groundbreaking means big promise for Houston soccer fans.

"This is huge. We've been trying to get this going for a long time now," said Dynamo fan Sterling Randolph.

And perhaps even bigger promise for the East End.

"It's one of those types of areas you wouldn't think to live, but it's growing," said Mack Iytle, who lives nearby.

With the newest addition -- a 340,000 square foot soccer stadium with 22,000 seats -- this area once struggling with its identity could now be the center of the city's action.

"You have Toyota Center, you have Minute Maid Park, we'll have the new Dynamo stadium, with the George R. Brown convention center right in the middle," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who attended the groundbreaking.

"We are not only going to bring the great soccer matches, we're not only going to bring the great concerts and music acts, but we're also going to bring big time boxing to Houston which will be a lot of fun," said Oscar de la Hoya, Dynamo partner.

That's exactly why guys like Larry Gaither moved to the East End. Even if it'll mean more people, more traffic, more noise and less parking, at times.

"When baseball season's going, it is crowded around here and it can be a little nerve-wracking, but there's still places to park and it just brings more life to the area," said Gaither.

Great news, too, for local bars. Lucky's Pub is already home to the Dynamo away game watch parties. Soon, with the nearby stadium, employees expect to be real busy on game days, whether home or away.

"They're literally in our backyard. It'll be great for them to come here, tailgate outside, then come back during the game," said Jesus Vasquez of Lucky's Pub.

The goal is to have the stadium ready by spring of 2012. In addition to hosting soccer games, the facility will also be used for Texas Southern University's football games.