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Dynamo Stadium Update, In Which We Really Don't Learn Anything New

Here are the highlights from today's stadium update press conference, you can read the entire press release after the jump.

- The groundbreaking for the stadium should take by the end of 2010

- Stadium lease deal with Harris County/Houston Sports Authority and deals with private financing partners are still in progress.

- Populous will serve as the project's lead architect, ICON Venue Services will serve as the project manager and the bid process is underway for a general contractor.

- Preliminary discussions with multiple companies about naming rights for the stadium are underway

- Approximate capacity with be 22,000

- Current season ticket holders will have priority on tickets at the new stadium

To be completely honest, we didn't really learn anything new but a least progress is being made. It sounds like we won't see conceptual designs for a bit longer, depending on how far along Populous is on the design work.

Dynamo update progress on downtown stadium

AEG, Dynamo expect to break ground in late 2010 and open stadium in 2012

HOUSTON, TX (Tuesday, August 24, 2010) -- On the heels of Houston hosting the most successful MLS All-Star Game in league history, the Houston Dynamo and majority owner AEG briefed members of the Houston community today that significant progress has been made on the development of the Dynamo's $80 million downtown stadium project.

The Dynamo expect to break ground on the stadium by the end of 2010 and play in the new venue for the first time in 2012.

The club is currently working to complete its stadium lease with the Harris County/Houston Sports Authority and finalize deals with private financing partners.

"We are in the midst of negotiations with the Sports Authority and working closely with our banking partners to finalize our agreements," said, AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke. "Substantial progress has been made over recent weeks, and we are confident that these partnerships will be finalized soon. Our timeline is aggressive, and our focus is clear."

The Dynamo have hired renowned firm Populous as the project's lead architect, and the bid process is underway for a general contractor. ICON Venue Services, having successful overseen the development of numerous soccer stadium projects and considered to be the leading organization in its industry, has been hired as project manager.

"The fact that the project management group and architects are already on the case and that a rapid search for a general contractor is underway further indicates our focus and desire to get this project off the ground quickly," Dynamo Chief Operating Officer Chris Canetti said. "We recognize that our fans have been patient throughout this process, and we are focused on doing everything in our power to give our team and our fans a home."

The Dynamo are currently in preliminary discussions with multiple companies about naming rights for the stadium and hope to secure a partner by the end of the year.

"These recent developments put us in a much stronger position to forge ahead with our efforts to secure a stadium naming rights partner," Canetti said. "There has been significant interest from the local and international corporate communities, and we will now be able to take those discussions to a higher level."

The stadium will seat roughly 22,000 fans and be the home stadium for the Houston Dynamo and Texas Southern University football, with the opportunity to host other events, including but not limited to international soccer matches, United States national team matches, the NCAA College Cup, high school soccer matches, and high school football playoff games in addition to concerts, other championship sporting events, and special events. The stadium is expected to be the 10th major league stadium built primarily for soccer in the United States, following venues in Columbus, Ohio; Carson, Calif.; Frisco, Texas; Bridgeview, Ill.; Commerce City, Colo.; Sandy, Utah; Harrison, N.J.; Chester, Pa.; and Kansas City., Kan.

Current Dynamo season ticket holders will have priority in purchasing season tickets for the new stadium. The priority will be determined by a season ticket holder's consecutive tenure with the team, and all season ticket holders in 2011 will establish a priority ahead of new season ticket holders in 2012.

The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first four seasons and represented the United States in international competition in four consecutive seasons. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.