Wondering what the new Dynamo Stadium will be like? The Chron has some early information.
“We hope to be on site with a shovel in the ground by the end of this year,” said Dynamo general manager Oliver Luck, who took the primary role in lobbying county and city officials to help fund the $95 million project.
More than that, the Dynamo are excited to be downtown. As far as they’re concerned, the East End is prime real estate as they continue their quest to cement the franchise in the hearts of Houston sports fans.
“I think it’s a great location,” [Dynamo forward Brian] Ching said. “I’m just extremely excited that we got it downtown. Give credit to Oliver. He could have made a decision to go to the suburbs any time, and he didn’t. Being downtown adds a little to the credibility of a professional organization being right there.”
The playing field is expected to be 13 feet below grade, and the lower bowl will be cast in place concrete. The upper bowl will extend above grade.
Also, like nearby Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, the major concourse will be at grade. As Astros fans do when they show up for a home game, Dynamo fans will enter the stadium through the main concourse on ground level.
The Dynamo plan to have a roof canopy on the east and west sidelines to protect fans against the sun and rain.
I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. I plan to attend some games once they’re in the new location, which is something I haven’t done before.
The story is wrapped around the question of how the new stadium will benefit area businesses. I don’t think there’s any question that it will be good for them, it’s a matter of how much. Note that this does not in any way contradict the research of sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, as he focused on the economic impact of a metropolitan area. Given that one effect is to relocate economic activity from one area to another, it seems likely that businesses in that area will benefit.
One thing to keep an eye on, which is also something Zimbalist talks about, is how often this stadium actually gets used. Between the Dynamo and TSU football, you’re talking 25 to 30 games a year. That’s a lot of idle time to fill to maximize the value of the place. What other events can and will eventually take place there? Since the Dynamo will make the largest investment in this construction, they’ll have a strong incentive to find that out and make it work for them.