Soccer Business Bits: Stadium News in Houston, Seattle Ticket Update & More

According to the Houston Chronicle, Dynamo President Oliver Luck is in talks with a developer about the construction of a soccer stadium on private land in Southwest Houston.  Although the article cites Luck as continuing to affirm his desire to build a stadium on City owned land, the discussions with a private developer represent a significant change from the earlier plan to build in conjunction as part of a Tax Increment Re-Investment Zone. As recently as November, we wrote the following about the City/team partnership:

“Total cost of the projected 21k seat stadium is expected to be about $80 million with the Dynamo ownership (primarily AEG and Golden Boy Promotions) funding about $60 million.  The rest of the funds could come from tax credits,  the TIRZ money and from some of the stiumulus money floating around.  The TIRZ program will also provide the property for the stadium.  According to Houston President Oliver Luck, multiple banks are lining up to provide financing for the construction project.”  We will certainly follow this story as it develops.

In Seattle, the Sounders have announced plans to cap season ticket sales at 32,000.  To date, the team has sold 31,000 season tickets with two months until opening day.  The team has also announced renewal rates in excess of 95% and this represents a 10k increase in the cap on season ticket sales as compared to last year.

Finally, ESPN has announced more elements of its World Cup broadcast package.  All 64 matches will be in HD and broadcast live.  ESPN360 will also have the games as well as ESPN MobilTV.  ESPN Classic and ESPN2 will re-air games each night.  There will also be significant pre-match, halftime and post-match shows.  This level of coverage shows ESPN’s continued devotion to soccer and its willingness to invest significant resources in broadcasting the games.

3 Responses

  1. Good to hear that the ownership group for the Dynamo are pursueing alternate means to build a stadium. I’m all for privately owned sites, although “free money” from the government is hard to pass up… still if they can’t get enough sponorship and the deal won’t go through hopefully this other site will be ready and willing.

    Great news for American Soccer fans on the whole ESPN situation as well! I’m looking forward to see if there will be an increase in interest after the world cup in soccer and that flows to the MLS!

  2. i said it before and i’ll say it again… these new stadiums MLS teams are building are TOO SMALL! only 21000 for Houston when Seattle can get 36000? Houston is a way bigger city than Seattle with a way bigger Hispanic population. these owners are gonna regret building such small stadiums in ten years when they have to demolish them and build bigger ones. unless that’s their whole plan to make more business… i guess i just don’t understand capitalism…

  3. I might also add that all (or at least some) ESPN World Cup games will be broadcast in 3-D.

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