An open letter to MLS Commissioner Don Garber

Bob Levey

Where is the local ownership we need to better help support our team?

Dear MLS Commissioner Garber,

First off I'd like to state I hope that your fight with prostate cancer is continuing to go well and that you make a full recovery very quickly. I have a close family member who is currently in a fight with cancer so I fully understand the fight and struggle you are currently going through and applaud your bravery for sticking with a full working schedule while fighting it. With that said please forgive me as I'd like to get down to business and write you to discuss the ownership of my team the Houston Dynamo and it's seemingly lack of support from their owners.

In December of 2011 after the Houston Dynamo faced the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2011 MLS Cup you asked AEG to sell its share of the Houston Dynamo because it posed a conflict of interest since both teams are majority owned by AEG. At the same time you requested that AEG find local ownership for the team. The team, as you know, is currently co-owned by Oscar De La Hoya and Gabriel Brener, all of whom including AEG are based out of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is over 1500 miles away and more than a 3-hour flight, making it nowhere near the city of Houston.

Nearly a year later in September of 2012 Les Alexander owner of the NBA Basketball team the Houston Rockets nearly completed the purchase of the Houston Dynamo. According to reports the deal fell through stating, "There is not going to be a sale of the Dynamo," Canetti told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. "Our owners received an offer and evaluated and negotiated the offer but ultimately concluded that they are not going to accept it. They will continue to own the team and remain committed to both the team and stadium. They believe in both the team and stadium and are committed to their future." I have no issues with AEG deciding not sell the team but it seems that once BBVA Compass Stadium was built and completed our owners seemed to have lost all form of interest in the club.

It's very rare that the Houston Dynamo fans see the ownership at games, they have little to no interaction with the fans, and they only seem to show face when the team is doing great and making a deep run for the playoffs. If the Dynamo fans are lucky, we may see some form of owner representation during the opening game of the MLS season. While other MLS teams have owners that are constantly engaging fans, talking with them, leading them out in marches to the stadium, and cheering with them, this has almost never been done by any of our owners. The last time I remember one of our owners engaging fans was when Oscar De La Hoya paid to have a group of the Houston Dynamo Supporters Group go to Los Angeles for the Cup.

The Houston Dynamo have a beautiful soccer specific stadium, they have a NWSL team with strong support, and the team is consistently in the top 10 of the MLS in attendance with nearly 20,000 fans a game a season. My question to you Mr. Garber, when will you and the MLS step in to give the Houston Dynamo fans local owners who will nourish the team and allow them flourish to the next level like all Houston Dynamo fans know the team can?  AEG is the only ownership group left that owns more than one team in the MLS. When will Houston fans get to see a local owner who provides the support that is needed to help take the Dynamo to the next level? If you are interested in addressing these concerns and questions of not only me but many other Dynamo fans please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to set up a town hall session here in Houston on any date and time. I know you are an extremely busy person, but I'm looking forward to potentially hearing a response from you on this matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Pete Hernandez

@dynamopete

Dynamo Theory Contributor

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