The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority agreed on a deal today to be the landlord for the Houston Dynamo in a new downtown stadium, an important -- but not final -- step on breaking ground.
Dynamo president Chris Canetti tells Hair Balls the new facility won't just be limited to soccer and Texas Southern football. The Dynamo's owners, entertainment giant AEG Worldwide, will be looking to book musical acts into the 22,000-seat stadium.
The Dynamo has worked out a somewhat informal non-compete clause with the Toyota Center, but there's no such agreement with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
The Pavilion's capacity is about 17,000; with field seats the new stadium could hold 25,000.
"We're a larger venue...Our parent company is AEG, that's their business, live entertainment and they do a lot of musical shows across the country," Canetti said. " So I suspect that we'll be looking to do a handful of shows if not more in the new stadium."
Canetti noted the Pavilion's success. "I think they have a niche both in terms of where they're located and the size of the venue and I think we're going to provide something that's just a little bit different for everybody."
As far as the Toyota Center, another Sports Authority facility, there is an agreement of sorts against competing for acts, Canetti says.
"There was a belief or an understanding that the Toyota Center had a non-compete clause in its contract for 'like venues in this district,'" he says. "So it's arguable whether or not our stadium fits into that category. Instead of getting into a big mess over this thing, we reached an agreement with the Rockets that insured that both parties were satisfied with what was on and off limits. That was something we were encouraged to sort out by the city and we did."
Not so with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell. Let the bidding begin, and maybe let the four-hour drives up north lessen a bit.