Dynamo fans share thoughts on downtown stadium project
The Dynamo have established themselves as one of the best teams in Major League Soccer, having won back-to-back championships in 2006-2007 after relocating from San Jose, Calif. to Houston.
Dynamo fans who have flocked to Robertson Stadium and been treated to a world-class product on the pitch now anxiously await a world-class downtown stadium for their team, scheduled to be ready for the 2012 season. The project has been in limbo for more than two years, but it has recently gained momentum and appears to be on the verge of being finalized.
The new stadium is expected to cost $80-85 million, and it would have a capacity of 21,000-22,000 people. The proposed site is southeast of Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.
“We would love for the Dynamo to have its own stadium. This is a great team, we have great fans and people show up to the games,” said Chris Smink, a director of the Texian Army, a grassroots supporters group.
Smink said fans love to support their team by buying tickets to see them play. “We need our own stadium to help the Dynamo stay in Houston,” Smink said.
UH student Oscar Leon, who has been following the Dynamo for three years and has traveled to several cities to follow the team, also supports the Dynamo getting their own stadium.
“It’s about time. The Dynamo deserves it,” Leon said. “The field will look nice throughout the whole season. You won’t have football stripes blocking the way of what actually is happening in the field.”
Willie Shaver, a Houston resident, has been following the Dynamo since 2006 and likes the idea of the new stadium in downtown.
“I want one. We need one,” Shaver said. “The Texans have one, the Astros have one, and the Dynamo needs one.”
Teo Pineda, who owns an orange bus with a Dynamo logo on it, goes to all the home games and travels to watch the team’s playoff road games.
“The Dynamo deserves a new stadium because they have two championships already, and with the new stadium they are going to have more fans,” Pineda said.
Kenia Amaya and Melissa Pulido have been supporting the Dynamo since 2006. They both agree that the Dynamo deserves a new stadium.
“I really want it. It’s something we fans want so much and have been waiting for a long time,” Amaya said. “The guys have done so much for us, winning two cups for Houston.”
Added Pulido: “Having a new stadium will have monetary advantages and scheduling will be the best thing.”
Pulido said a new stadium will give more scheduling freedom in the weekday games and will be more positive than negative for Houston.
The downtown location is also a plus for Dynamo fans.
“The location is perfect because soccer is a multicultural fan base,” Smink said. “So it has to be centrally located, and that is what is going to keep our attendance steady through the years.”
Pulido said the downtown location will be better for the Dynamo than the suburban stadiums of other MLS teams.
“I think to have a stadium in downtown will represent Houston,” Pulido said.