New stadium close (again)
Dynamo! Houston's version of The Big Dig chugs along
The Houston Dynamo's new stadium is almost the Bayou City's version of the Big Dig — minus the unsightly deaths. It infamously took 17 years for Boston to build its Big Dig tunnel (that stretches to 25 years if you include the planning stages).
It sometimes seems like they've been talking about a new stadium for the Dynamo that long.
Houston's project that never starts (let alone ends) received a new burst of super publicity today (not to be confused with last month's burst of breathless publicity about the upcoming new stadium or the publicity that filled the year before that, or ....) The terms of a potential plan between the City of Houston and Harris County was laid out today in a City Council Committee meeting. The City and Harris County agree that they'll jointly pay for $20 million in infrastructure upgrades that the new stadium would require if the Major League Soccer franchise foots the bill for the projected $60 million in stadium costs.
Houston's Chief Development Officer Andy Icken told the Houston Business Journal today that there are now 10 different agreements that have to get done by September for the deal to happen.
Well, it's only 10!
"It's not a done deal," Icken insisted, which is a different tune from what's been reported in blaring headlines and TV reports most of the day. Or any other day when the Dynamo's new stadium has been discussed for that matter.
The next step this time is for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority to conduct negotiations with the Dynamo. Of course, the Sports Authority still has to decide if it will even agree to handle the negotiations. That will be discussed in a board meeting on Thursday.
If that is approved, the Dynamo must negotiate the terms of a lease, a new tax zone must be created and the Houston Astros must approve a parking plan. (The proposed site is across the freeway from Minute Maid and on nights when both teams play, parking could be an issue.) The City Council could vote on their part of the agreement as early as March 31.
"There was no action taken by the committee," Icken said of today's committee meeting.
No action actually taken? With the Dynamos' new stadium? Somehow, that sounds familiar.