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2012

Dynamo Stadium soccer has a home. 1


Thanks Dynamo Stadium founding partners.

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Houston Dynamo 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Ste. 200 Houston, Texas 77010 t. 713.276.7500 f. 713.276.7573 e. ccanetti@houstondynamo.com

Dear Dynamo Fans, Welcome to Robertson Stadium for its final MLS regular season match. Robertson has provided many great Dynamo memories over the past six years. Coincidentally, this day will most fittingly close out with another big moment: Our 2011 playoff situation rides on tonight’s result in front of our biggest crowd of the year. It could not have been scripted any better, and we are pleased you joined us for this historic event. While we turn the page on a chapter of history, we look forward to a bright future. In just six months, we will open the best soccer venue in all of Major League Soccer. Our new 22,000-seat downtown soccer stadium, located in Houston’s East End near Minute Maid Park and the George R. Brown Convention Center, will be a jewel. The stadium, combined with our passionate fan support, will provide a one-of-a-kind environment for experiencing the beautiful game. I am confident that you will love the new stadium and the enhanced experience of attending a Dynamo match. It is certain to provide more memories for years to come. We are targeting May 12, 2012 as the new stadium’s grand opening after playing away for the first several weeks of the season. You may log onto www.HoustonDynamo.com for a virtual look at the stadium and to see the live construction webcam. The new stadium has injected serious interest in the club. We have already realized a 36-percent growth in our season ticket base over the 2011 season. More than 20 sections have sold out, including our most coveted premium seats. With six months until the stadium opens and every seat offering exceptional views, we expect our sales to reach historic levels. We have also received excellent corporate support, as partners such as Greenstar Recycling, Dr Pepper, The Methodist Hospital System, and Statoil have stepped up as stadium and/or team sponsors. As you enjoy your experience at Robertson Stadium today, think about your favorite memories here while visualizing the future and your spot in the brand-new Dynamo Stadium. The moments created at the Rob have laid the foundation for an amazing future at soccer’s new home on the corner of Texas and Dowling. So many times you have brought the energy to give our team a home-field edge. Bring it here one more time today and help us to victory. Thanks for your ongoing support. Sincerely,

Chris Canetti President Houston Dynamo

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dynamo stadium

quick facts Seating Capacity

22,000 (7,000 lower sections)

94,000 square feet of aluminum panels,

panels 50 percent open to improve air flow

Structural Concrete

13,800 cubic yards

Structural Steel

2,200 tons

Site Concrete

3,200 cubic yards

Location

Downtown Houston, East End

Groundbreaking

February 5, 2011

Scheduled Completion

May 2012

Suites

33 main suites located less than 10 rows

from playing field, 2 party suites to be

Canopies

Extending 75 feet over east and

located in southeast corner

west sidelines

Club Seating Capacity

c. 1,100

Stage Canopy

Extending 125 feet over south end zone

Avg. Concourse Width

30 feet

Sustainability

The project will seek LEED registered

certification. The majority of construction

waste will be diverted from landfills by

Concession Stands

Full service stands throughout stadium

Local vendor booths in south end zone

Restrooms

recycling steel, glass, concrete, masonry,

In excess of current building codes

drywall, cardboard, and wood

Main Gates

4 main gates for fan entry/exit

Partners

Harris County

Stadium will meet all applicable ADA

City of Houston

Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

Houston Dynamo

Architect

Populous – Kansas City, MO

ADA Accessibility

regulations Main Video Board

25 ft. x 40 ft. LED high definition screen

Broadcast Booths

7 (3 radio, 4 TV)

Media Capacity 50

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Exterior Skin

www.populous.com

Playing Surface

Owner’s Rep.

ICON Venue Group

Tifway 419 Bermuda grass

Greenwood Village, CO

c. 90,000 square feet

www.iconvenue.com

able to accommodate soccer, football,

rugby, lacrosse

Stage

c. 5,000 square feet, located in south

end zone with demountable seats and

full rigging grid on canopy

Locker Rooms

1 Dynamo locker room

4 multipurpose team locker rooms

Site Size

12 acres (522,720 square feet)

Building Size

340,000 square feet

Highest Elevation

70 feet

Construction Mgr.

Manhattan Construction – Houston, TX

www.manhattanconstruction.com Landscape Architect

Clark Condon – Houston, TX

www.clarkcondon.com Structural Engineer

Walter P. Moore – Houston, TX

www.walterpmoore.com Civil Engineer

WGA – Houston, TX

www.wga-llp.com


about the design After five years of negotiations, the Houston Dynamo’s downtown stadium finally celebrated a groundbreaking on February 5, 2011. When the 22,000-seat venue opens in mid-2012, the players, coaches, employees, and fans will finally have a home to call their own. The stadium has been designed by Populous, the firm that designed new Yankee Stadium in New York, as an iconic piece of architecture that echoes both the rich industrial heritage of the urban East Downtown site and the Dynamo’s aspirations to be an elite brand in North American soccer. The stadium will be located closer to downtown than any other American stadium built for soccer, while its clear sightlines and intimate setting will make it unique among Houston stadiums. Combine those factors with the passion of Houston soccer fans and the team’s vibrant orange, and a gameday at the Dynamo’s new stadium will be like no other.

Situated on a six-block urban site near other Houston landmarks such as Minute Maid Park, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and the Toyota Center, the new stadium will be easily accessible for patrons from the entire Houston metropolitan area. The stadium will be recognizable thanks in part to its distinctive facade. The stadium skin will consist of tessellated aluminum mesh, enclosing the stadium while also allowing air to circulate throughout the facility. Inside the stadium, fans will utilize one wide concourse to access both lower and upper sections. Fans throughout the stadium, from field-side seats to luxury suites to upper-bowl sections, will feel like part of the game action thanks to their proximity to the playing surface. In 2012, when orange-clad fans erupt after a Dynamo goal, soccer in Houston will finally have its new home.

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February 5, 2011 The Houston Dynamo broke ground on their 22,000-seat soccer stadium in downtown Houston’s East End. Dignitaries such as AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, Dynamo equity partner Oscar de la Hoya, MLS President Mark Abbott, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett participated in the groundbreaking festivities, while Dynamo all-time leading scorer Brian Ching kicked a ceremonial first goal on the stadium site.

3.2.11 Construction begins

4.7.10 Houston City Council approves Dynamo Stadium plan

4.13.10 Harris County Commissioners Court approves stadium deal 9.14.10 Populous announced as stadium architect

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10.7.10 Manhattan Construction announced as builder 12.2.10 Lease agreement reached with Harris County Houston Sports Authority

2010

7.27.11 First crane arrives at stadium site

2.3.11 Populous unveils stadium design 2.5.11 Stadium groundbreaking

8.2.11 Steel trusses placed

5.9.11 First concrete poured

IOMEDIA virtual venue site launched

2011


stadiumtimeline Important moments in the history of the Dynamo Stadium

8.16.11 Doug Hall named as Dynamo Stadium GM 8.23.11 President’s Club sold out through 2013 season 8.25.11 All premium seats sold out for 2012 season

05.12.12 Opening Day 9.6.11 First seat risers placed 9.20.11 Season tickets go on sale to general public

December 2011 Scoreboard to be raised

11.14.11 Roof canopies to be completed, toppingout ceremony

February 2012 First seat to be installed

March 2012 Last seat to be installed

April 2012 Team store to open

2012

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Stadium to bring world-class acts to Houston by jonathan kaplan

The Houston area has been blessed with an abundance of Grammyaward winning artists that have graced its stages over the past few years. Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, and Jay-Z have all played to sold-out crowds at venues such as Toyota Center, Reliant Arena, and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. Beginning in May 2012, those artists – and many more – will have a new home to perform in when the new Dynamo Stadium opens in downtown Houston. Although the stadium is being built as the home of the Dynamo soccer team and the Texas Southern University football team, it will also serve as a multi-purpose venue, bringing some of the biggest and best events to downtown Houston on a yearly basis. “Our goal is to do as many concerts in the new stadium as we can,” said Dynamo Stadium general manager Doug Hall. “With the size of the venue that we will have – estimated around 22,000 – the concert season is hit and miss. Some years you have a lot of stadium shows touring and promoters are calling you to book your venue, while other years there are no stadium shows touring and you need to go out and pursue those opportunities.” Regardless of whether the Dynamo Stadium is taking calls or placing them, the venue is shaping up to be one of the best new stadiums around. Unlike other soccer-specific stadiums where the concert stage serves as an eye-sore to the soccer-attending fans, the Dynamo – along with Manhattan Construction Group, ICON Venue Group, and the architectural firm Populous – were able to design a stadium with a permanent 60-by-80-foot stage that is hidden from the public eye. “One of the great advantages we will have is that we will have a permanent, built-in stage that for the most part fans won’t really notice

because the stage is underneath the seats,” said Hall. “Under the roof on the south end, we will also have rigging capacity to put sound and lights. This setup works to our advantage, because the cost to build a stage with the appropriate sound and lighting could be as much as $100,000.” Aside from concerts, the new venue will offer Dynamo equity partners Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar de la Hoya another opportunity to showcase some of their top boxers. Matches in the new stadium would be fought outdoors, something not commonly seen in the boxing world. “To be honest, it is hard to get fights out of Las Vegas and Atlantic City because of their proximity to casinos, but in the last few years with the number of Houston boxers that have been fighting – Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez, to name a few – there have been quite a few fights in Houston,” said Hall. “We have been in contact with Golden Boy, and we are seeing if we can put something on the calendar for next year. It all comes down to whether or not we can find a matchup that works for all parties.” Although the stadium is still under construction – the Dynamo expect to open the venue on May 12, 2012 – Hall hopes to begin booking concerts by the end of this year. Once the venue does open, Hall will be tasked with keeping the event calendar full, while still maintaining a playable surface for the Dynamo. “It’s always a balancing act whenever you have natural grass,” he said. “Obviously, this is being built for the Dynamo soccer team, so they will always be our first priority. On the other hand, our goal is maximize the number of events we can hold in the stadium. We are working on booking events as we speak. If everything comes together, we would like to have a major announcement before the year is out.”

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stadium

progress

february

PHOTOS BY WILF THORNE

mar

april

may

june

july

aug

sept

october

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soccer stadiumS Soccer in the United States has seen a surge of buildings constructed primarily for soccer over the last 12 years. Here is a look at some of the other stadiums throughout the country:

CREW STADIUM

THE HOME DEPOT CENTER

PIZZA HUT PARK

TOYOTA PARK

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

RIO TINTO STADIUM

Columbus, OH Opened 1999 • Capacity 20,455 3.7 miles from downtown Columbus

Frisco, TX Opened 2005 • Capacity 21,193 27 miles from downtown Dallas

Bridgeview, IL Opened 2006 • Capacity 20,000 14.1 miles from downtown Chicago

Commerce City, CO Opened 2007 • Capacity 18,086 8.3 miles from downtown Denver

Sandy, UT Opened 2008 • Capacity 20,008 12.4 miles from downtown Salt Lake City

RED BULL ARENA

PPL Park

LIVESTRONG SPORting park

Harrison, NJ Opened 2010 • Capacity 25,189 9.6 miles from downtown New York City

DYNAMO STADIUM

Houston, TX Set to open 2012 • Capacity 22,000 Less than 1 mile from downtown Houston

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Carson, CA Opened 2003 • Capacity 27,000 13.5 miles from downtown Los Angeles

Chester, PA Opened 2010 • Capacity 18,500 15.5 miles from downtown Philadelphia

Kansas City, MO Opened 2011 • Capacity 18,500 14.6 miles from downtown Kansas City


Q&A

with Loren Supp A R C H I T E C T

J O N AT H A N YA R D L E Y | H O US TO N DY N A M O.CO M

Former Populous architect Loren Supp sat down with HoustonDynamo.com to discuss some of his favorite aspects of the forthcoming Dynamo stadium, the process of designing the stadium, and more. Houston Dynamo: How does the design process work, from getting the call from the Dynamo and AEG to where we are now? Loren Supp: It starts a little less defined. We hear, ‘We would like to do a new stadium and where could we do it? Here are some sites we’re looking at,’ or, ‘Here’s a site we’re looking at.’ In the case of the Dynamo, there was a long gestational period of, ‘How big is it? How many people do you want to go to these games? How intimate do you want it?’ I think once you settle on that, the rest sort of happens in a linear fashion. Then it becomes, ‘Now we’ve got this plot of land and this many people we want to fit on it, so how progressive do you want to be? Do you want to be something that says I’m a soccer stadium or do you want to do something that says I’m the soccer stadium? I want to do something totally new.’ That was the most amazing thing about this project was that the Dynamo from the get-go have said, ‘Let’s do something that’s totally amazing and something new and something different, while at the same time respecting soccer heritage.’ That comes out especially in this wraparound bowl, so that there isn’t a bunch of breakage; that’s quintessential as part of the soccer experience. After establishing the idea, it was, ‘Now that we know we want to do this sort of icon for the neighborhood, what’s appropriate? After spending time in the neighborhood walking around, what makes sense there?’ HD: So how many trips does that take, to get an idea of the neighborhood and the site? LS: It’s not how many trips, it’s how different are the times you spend there. If you always go at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, you’re always going to see the same side of a neighborhood. I would go running there in the morning when I would come to visit, and then I would come back midday, and then I would walk through in the evening. I did that a few times, enough to start getting a feel for it. Then you start reading about the area, because you don’t want to just stick something in there, willy-nilly. What really hit us was the industrial nature that happened. I think that a lot of cities have that, but they don’t celebrate it. They fill it in and make it all brand-new. We said, ‘Hey, let’s play that up.’ So we got this idea of

a geometric object made of something simple in an industrial fashion. As that continued, the sort of gem idea came naturally. HD: For the whole process, how collaborative is it at Populous? LS: It’s definitely a group activity. Everybody brings a different knowledge base. So my thing, for instance, is I want to make sure it looks like a million bucks, like it’s something no one else has ever seen. There are other people who know how a soccer game is supposed to be played, for example. Populous in general has a wealth of experience that no one else has, especially in soccer. Being able to borrow from people is great, and on the design side, it wasn’t just me who said this should be industrial. I think it was a process of collaboration through that period. This is a big project. No one can say, ‘I’m just going to design it and I’m done.’ Once you establish what it is – the industrial gem – as long as everybody’s on board with that, everybody starts to plug in and play their parts. HD: What’s a feature that you’re especially proud of that may not be obvious to the public at first glance? LS: The feature which blew me away actually came to me when I visited another stadium, and I was thinking about our stadium. I was in the very worst seat they had, and I was thinking that in our stadium, in the very worst seat you could have, the worst one in the Dynamo stadium, it would be almost in the middle of [the other team’s] seating bowl. The thing is so intimate. You’re only about 30 feet away from the field when you’re in some of the upper sections. That doesn’t exist anywhere else, and it’s amazing. HD: What do you think is the first thing fans will notice when they walk to the completed stadium for the first time? LS: When they walk up to it, they’re going to see one thing, and then when they walk in, I think they’re going to be blown away by how spacious the interior concourse is. For such a tight building, it’s going to feel quite spacious in there. Then they’re going to come into the bowl, and it’s going to be this intense, atmospheric zone, because it’s all wrapped in and because the sound is going to be contained. It’s going to be a surprise moment, where they go, ‘Aha!’ or ‘Wow!’ That’s going to be pretty amazing.

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first in line for 2012

Six-year season ticket holder has No. 1 priority number for new stadium BY JONATHAN KAPLAN

When Blake Randolph first received his letter in the mail from the Houston Dynamo, he was shocked by what he read. Randolph, a season-ticket holder since 2006, figured he would have a decent priority number to purchase season tickets in the new Dynamo Stadium for 2012 but never imagined he would be No. 1. “When I got the letter, I thought it was like a Southwest Airlines flight, where there are a bunch of people who are No. 1,” Randolph said. “I immediately called my ticket rep, Mike Williams, to see what the story was, and he confirmed that I was indeed the only person with the No. 1 priority number.” Priority numbers for 2012 season tickets were given out based on the season ticket accounts with the longest consecutive tenure with the organization. If a person purchased season tickets from 2006-2008, moved away in 2009, and came back for season tickets in 2010, they would have a similar priority number to other fans who purchased their first season tickets in 2010. Those fans who remained with the organization consecutively over the past six years were given the right to choose their seats first in the new stadium. Randolph happened to be the person who purchased his tickets the earliest out of those who never relinquished them. A 60-year old Shreveport native, Randolph moved to Houston some 30 years before the Dynamo. After growing up in Stonewall, La., and attending a high school that only had 16 people in his graduating class, Randolph and his wife were transfered to Houston in 1975 with the Pennzoil Company. In 2005, when the city of Houston announced that it was getting a professional soccer team, Randolph, a life-long soccer fan, was intrigued. With two kids, who were both big soccer fans as well, he told his son to look into Dynamo season tickets. They initially bought two seats for the first season. “After a while, my daughter and her friend wanted to start going too, so we increased our number to four seats,” he said. “The whole experience

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of going to Dynamo games has been big for our family. As our kids got older, we were not able to do as many family outings together, but going to Dynamo games has always been our thing.” Randolph admits that due to work and travel, he has only averaged 5-6 Dynamo games a year, but he hopes to change that going forward. In addition, he hopes to bring friends out to the new stadium next season and potentially convert some new fans. “I have a lot of friends who I would bring to the new stadium that I may not have brought with me to Robertson Stadium,” Randolph said. “Normally I will go to games with soccer fans or Dynamo fans, but now I have the opportunity to take non-soccer folks to the games, whether it’s friends, clients, or colleagues.” As the No. 1 priority number holder, Randolph had the pick of the stadium when it came to choosing seats for 2012. He discussed it with his family and decided to purchase premium seats. The family decided to maintain a similar sightline from Robertson Stadium in section 121, so they purchased four seats in the VIP 100 level, five rows up from midfield. Although he has a lot of great memories over the past six seasons at Robertson Stadium – including Brian Ching’s four-goal performance in the Dynamo’s first game in Houston and the overtime playoff win against Seattle in 2009 – Randolph is excited for the prospects that lie ahead with the new stadium. “Dynamo games are events that are fun and fast, and they are events at which we always have a good time when we go,” he said. “It’s the perfect family entertainment deal, and I could not be more excited about watching my team play in the new stadium.”


2012 STADIUM SEATING PLAN W 205 202

201

2012 SEASON TICKET PRICING

23

1825

100 LEVEL VIP CLUB

$

VIP FIELD SEATING

$

200 LEVEL VIP CLUB

$

204

239

102

103

104

2

3

4

5

105

6

7

106

DYNAMO BENCH

139

238

206C

1725

208 8

9

107

209

10 11 12

13 14 15

108

109

210

700

100 LEVEL SIDELINE

$

100 LEVEL ENDLINE

$

550

200 LEVEL CENTER CIRCLE $ 500 200 LEVEL SIDELINE

$

425

200 LEVEL ENDLINE

$

400

SUPPORTERS’ SECTION

$

250

212

110

VISITOR BENCH

137

N E

211

138

237

S

207

VIP CLUB LOUNGE 1

240

206B

1800

100 LEVEL CENTER CIRCLE $ 900

sections

203

206A

113

213

114

214

215

115

216

236 116

135

235

217 117

134

234

133 233

118

FIELD SEATING 130

232

129 P AR TY SU ITE

128 33 32 31

218

127

126

125

124

30 29 28

27 26 25

24 23 22

21 20 19

123

219

122

220

18 17 16 221

231 230

229

228

227

226

225

224

223

222

sold out With only seven months until the Houston Dynamo open their new downtown soccer-specific stadium, tickets are being purchased at an unprecedented pace. Twenty-three sections in the stadium are already sold out, including the President’s Club and both levels of the VIP Club.   “I’d like to thank the fans for their tremendous support,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “Their overall and early response represents the excitement that surrounds the team right now. The demand and the urgency have been at an alltime high with seats moving at a brisk pace.”   The club’s premium seats have sold out, as have field-side seats, two of the three sections set aside for supporters’ groups, and eight sections in the stadium’s 100 level. Seats still remain throughout the 100 level, including at midfield on the east side of the stadium, and in most of the 200 level. The Dynamo have already seen a 30 percent increase in season ticket sales for next year. Premium seats, which include the exclusive President’s Club and VIP Club seating in the 100 and 200 levels of the stadium, went on sale to Dynamo season ticket holders, mini-plan holders, and the DynamoStadium.com waiting list first before being opened up to the general public. Premium seats include excellent sightlines on the west side of the stadium, VIP parking passes, access to the VIP Stadium Club Lounge, and additional amenities. Season ticket pricing ranges from $250 among the club’s supporters’ groups and $400 in the 200 level behind each goal to $900 in the 100 level at midfield. 13


ONLY 6 SUITES

remain

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orange

is the new green

The Houston Dynamo’s new downtown stadium has taken its first step toward being an environmentally sustainable venue after it was registered with the United States Green Building Council for certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. The project has been registered by architect Populous, project manager ICON Venue Group, and builder Manhattan Construction Company and will be evaluated for LEED credits upon completion of the venue. LEED ratings are based on a point system that measure the building’s impact on the environment. Among the notable green elements in the Dynamo’s new stadium are: During construction, the Dynamo will divert construction and demolition debris to be recycled or salvaged rather than being placed in landfills or incinerated.

The Dynamo and jersey partner Greenstar Recycling will provide easily accessible areas for recycling collection and storage, thereby reducing waste that goes to landfills. The Dynamo will use post-consumer and pre-consumer products and materials to reduce the impact resulting from the extraction and processing of virgin material. Most products and materials used in construction will have been extracted, harvested, recovered, and/or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Many products and materials used in construction will reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that may be irritating or harmful to the well-being of installers and building occupants.

The new stadium will use water-efficient fixtures within the building to reduce the burden on the municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

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Q&A

with Doug Hall S T A D I U M

G M

J O N AT H A N K A P L A N | H O US TO N DY N A M O.CO M

With seven months until the new Dynamo Stadium is set to open, HoustonDynamo.com caught up with the man in charge of running the new facility, Dynamo Stadium General Manager Doug Hall. Houston Dynamo: Tell us a little about your background, specifically in the stadium/arena business. Doug Hall: I have been involved with the stadium/arena business since 1993 and have worked in a lot of different facilities. I spent five years at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, which was the oldest NHL arena. After that I spent three years running the football stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. After going back to Pittsburgh, I transitioned to Houston when the Toyota Center went up and spent seven years there. The last two years I worked on the NCAA Final Four local organizing committee. I have never worked a soccer stadium before. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the other arenas I have worked in but also different in a lot of ways, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity. HD: Can you expand a little on those similarities and differences? LS: The planning/operations phase is very similar for all of them. Whether it’s an 18,000-seat arena or a 70,000-seat stadium, it’s really all about the magnitude of the event. I’m looking forward to what I call a mid-size facility with 22,000 seats. It is larger than an arena, but smaller than an NFL stadium. You lose a lot of the intimacy and the ability to interact with customers and guest services staff in the larger stadiums. I think this is going to be a fun opportunity. HD: What made you want to get involved with this project? LS: Opening up new stadiums is a lot of fun. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of crisis by fire but it’s also one of the things most people in this business aspire to do at least once. Fortunately, this will be my second one after having opened Toyota Center, which was a great opportunity. It’s a unique opportunity. There aren’t a lot of new stadiums being constructed in the United States right now. Any time you get a chance to jump on board with a fun project, particularly one where the team is a major tenant, that’s a great opportunity. HD: How do you envision the new Dynamo Stadium fitting in with the other great stadiums already in Houston? LS: I think Houston set the bar very high for great entertainment. When you look back to 2000 when Minute Maid opened up, every facility in the city was old. So over the past 12 years, we have completely changed not only downtown but the sporting environment here. We have a high bar

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to reach to deliver great customer service and a great fan experience. Houston has never had a soccer-specific stadium before, so I think people are going to be thrilled with the entertainment value, the affordability, the sightlines and really just the overall value of the new stadium. HD: Why should fans be excited about this specific stadium? LS: Fans in Houston are used to seeing soccer either at high school stadiums or Robertson Stadium. Most fans have never seen it played in a soccer-specific stadium. It’s the difference between watching baseball at the Astrodome and watching baseball at Minute Maid Park. It’s a completely different experience. This will be much more intimate, you will be closer to the action, there will be natural grass, great video replays, great entertainment value and a great proximity to the players. I think that is the one thing fans will be blown away with, how close they are to the action. HD: What about Houston makes it such an ideal city for professional sports teams? LS: I think it’s the diversity of our culture. For people who are not used to Houston and for people who are, you can see that diversity wherever you go and whatever you do. You have diverse opportunities with a diverse population and that bring a lot of different experiences. If you haven’t been to a soccer game and heard the supporters section, it really blows you away. I also think the proximity of the stadiums is huge. On any given weekend, you can go from an Astros game to across the street to Dynamo Stadium to then a Toyota Center event. That’s a pretty cool opportunity. HD: Are you already a soccer fan or do you expect this experience to turn you into one? LS: I am coaching my 10-year-old son, so that makes me a soccer fan. First and foremost, I’m a sports fan. That’s how you get in this business, whether it’s managing stadiums or doing public relations for a team, you are a sports fan. At this point in my career I’m more a fan of great events and watching people have a great time at our sporting events. That’s what I really like to do. That gets me excited and this is going to be a great opportunity.


soccer has a home 2012 SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW TICKETS 713.276.GOAL OR DYNAMOSTADIUM.COM 17


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Š 2011 HOUSTON DYNAMO DESIGN leslie lopez EDITORIAL jonathan kaplan, jonathan yardley PHOTOGRAPHY anthony vasser, wilf thorne


Dynamo Stadium Magazine