- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 23, 2009
- 4 Comments
- Houston Stadium, Stadium Construction, Stadium Talk
Some bit of good news for those wondering about the Houston Dynamo stadium situation. Yesterday in a report by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the Dynamo stadium only has a couple minor hurdles to clear before construction begins this fall.
Oliver Luck, president of the Major League Soccer team, says although he did not expect the deal to drag out this long, he never believed the project would be derailed since serious discussions began with the city 18 months ago.
“Considering the downtown location, the growth of the sport and the changing (racial) demographics in this city, and the fact that the team was going to carry the preponderance of risk — unlike the other big sports stadiums in town that were mostly publicly financed — I really was never dismayed during the whole process,” Luck says. “How long it took is a different story, but now I feel we’re close.”
At least three or more undisclosed banks have submitted term sheets to finance the bulk of the stadium’s construction costs, with separate negotiations on the books to provide financing for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, or TIRZ, the six-block area in which the stadium would be built within a stone’s throw of Minute Maid Park.
“It’s good news for the economy that banks are willing to lend for a big construction deal,” Luck says.
At this point, the total cost for the stadium — which would have a capacity of 21,000 or 22,000 spectators — is still pegged at about $80 million. Approximately $60 million — split roughly equally between debt and equity financing — will be covered by the Dynamo ownership group, and about $20 million will be provided up front through TIRZ financing. The city provided the land within the TIRZ.
Other options for the financing could also be getting federal tax credits.
The delay in getting this stadium built hasn’t been due to the economy says Luck and the club is going to be able to get cheaper quotes from construction companies at this time, which should save the club money.
The location of this stadium will be pretty cool too and will easily attract a good following for this club.