The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority unanimously approved an agreement with the Houston Dynamo this morning for the development of the downtown soccer stadium. This was the final major hurdle for the Dynamo and should allow the project to get underway in the next few weeks.
The Sports Authority, a joint city/county group will own the stadium and agreed to a 30-year lose which will cost the team $65,000/year. This is the culmination of 5-years of effort and will allow the Dynamo to not only have a home to call their own, but a more stable financial foundation for the club to build on moving forward.
An announcement about the groundbreaking ceremony should come soon.
The total project is expected to cost $95 million, with none of the money coming directly from taxpayers. The city acquired the land for $15 million in early 2008, ceding the land to the Dynamo for the construction process and to the HCHSA as the long-term landlord. The Dynamo's ownership group - AEG, the Brener International Group, and former boxer Oscar De la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions - and a contribution from Texas Southern University, whose football team will also play at the stadium, will provide the roughly $60 million estimated for construction costs. Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 15, a public financing tool to encourage public-private partnerships which is based on increased tax revenue generated by the development of the stadium, is expected to provide for infrastructure improvements around the stadium.