So the Houston Dynamo are upset that Harris County hasn't yet given them money for their planned pleasure palace. Well cry me a river.
I'm not sure if the Dynamo have noticed, but there's a rather severe recession going on in the country right now. And though the Dynamo are only asking for ten million dollars from the county, I've got to ask, aren't there more important things that the county could use this money for? I don't know, like paying deputies and prosecutors. I'm sure that the Ben Taub and LBJ hospitals could make some good use of those dollars. Keeping the county libraries up and running and keeping the parks nice and safe would also be nice. Sure, this isn't as glamorous as a shiny new pleasure palace where people will pay lots and lots of money to watch grown men in shorts kick a ball, but glamour should be secondary.
Yes, I know Drayton McLane and Les Alexander extorted money out of the citizens of the community for their new and unneeded buildings, and I know Bob McNair convinced all of you lemmings to pay for his palace, but that doesn't mean that the Dynamo should get this windfall. I didn't support the building of any of those monstrosities, and I'm not going to start now. So I'm not being inconsistent or hypocritical in my desire to see the Dynamo denied.
Here's the thing. The Dynamo claim they're willing to chip in a majority of the costs -- they're
claiming that they'll pay $60 million of the so-called $80 million price tag. But let's just say I'm not quite of the believing mode. I'll believe the Dynamo's assertions when they follow through on their threat to go forward with that little dream palace off of Westpark that they have suddenly started threatening. And when and if they actually do this -- which I doubt -- then they'll get my support because taxpayers really shouldn't be paying for this crap.
I want to address another thing. One of the things we'll hear -- that we've been hearing -- is that the stadium is needed at the proposed spot in the East End because it will improve the surrounding area by bringing in more business and improving the economy by bringing in more jobs. The old economic development argument. To which I ask: weren't these same things said about Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, Discovery Green, the Hilton, and way back in the day, the George R. Brown? That's why they were all built where they were, in a big giant cluster right off of 59.
But the way the Dynamo supporters have put it, the East End is still a dead zone that needs this new stadium -- I guess that the economic development stopped at the freeway -- maybe there's some kind of invisible barrier there that I can't see. That's the only thing I can think of because the Dynamo stadium boondoggle is only supposed to be a few blocks away from the rest of the boondoggles.
And the whole economic development argument is a lie. Government's subsidizing new sports stadiums only improve the economies of the team owners and do nothing for the cities. Otherwise, Minute Maid Park would have done the job already. And the Reliant Park area looks worse than when the Astrodome was the only thing in the area.
So go ahead Dynamo. Throw your little hissy fit. I don't really care. I'm hoping that you lose and that the county does the right thing for once and tells you no. Go build your own damn stadium over by the Galleria. Develop the economy over there. Just use your own money.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.