Dynamo afternoon games too hot to handle for players, fans


The novelty of the new stadium may be to blame for the scorching schedule so far. But after crowd complaints, fans can expect some relief the next time the team takes the field.

It is the newest major sports attraction in Houston. It is also the only one in town without a roof and at the mercy of the weather. Since last month, that's been an issue. The first day game in its new stadium on May 12 was a sellout and except for spectators in full sunlight, it was tolerable.

On May 26 against the LA Galaxy the game was on a sweltering afternoon and it got David Beckham's attention.

"Yea, next time schedule a night game. That'd be nice," said Beckham.

The Dynamo's Brian Ching as well.

"It's something you want the guys who actually schedule these games to come and sit down here in the sun and realize it's not conducive for great soccer," said Ching.

And then there were the fans. Heath Wells is a Dynamo season ticket holder.

"I'd say brutal. I envy watching games in England where people are in scarves and jackets and we're here getting sunburned," said Wells.

The newness of the stadium in a sense is to blame for the schedule. Until now, day games were mostly avoided in Houston during the hot months. But this year, Major League Soccer wanted to show off the newest professional venue before a network TV audience. The Dynamo club had no choice in the timing.

People seeking shelter from the sun in the concourse during the Galaxy game spoke volumes. The Dynamo asked that the time of next week's home game be changed, and MLS and ESPN agreed

"As a result, the game has been pushed back from 4pm to 6:30pm where it will be cooler and shadows will be more prevalent across the stadium for both fans and players," said Dynamo President Chris Canetti.

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