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Soccer Business Bits: Dynamo Stadium & Adidas has Teeth

We’ve been reporting on the fits and starts of Houston’s effort to build a stadium in downtown Houston.  After the groundbreaking scheduled for the end of January, it appears that the team is finally ready to move forward.  The final votes have been cast and the initial groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday.  The architecture firm Populous has revealed its latest design.  For those interested, the team offers a great Q&A with the primary architect.  One of the great design features of the proposed stadium is the proximity of the fans to the field.

As we have previously written, the Dynamo are expected to contribute $60 million to the project.  The proposed stadium will be shared with Texas Southern Football and other local events. Total cost of the projected 21k seat stadium is expected to be about $95 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,  Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (“TIRZ”) money and from some of the stimulus money floating around.

One other note tonight.  We recommend this article from Ridge Mahoney about the interplay between MLS’ biggest sponsor and the league’s efforts to expand.  Mahoney opines that adidas has prevented expansion teams associated with clubs such as Barcelona because of their affiliation with Nike.  Adidas is the primary league benefactor, and its relationship with the league may certainly carry exclusivity language.  Whether Mahoney’s hypothesis is a bit of a jump remains unknown, but adidas’ power should not be underestimated.