Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gold medalist boxer wants to be a Dynamo - Sale will not hurt stadium deal

A group that includes boxer Oscar de la Hoya wants to purchase the Houston Dynamo from current owner Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). It is not clear how far along talks are, but MLS is very interested in seeing the sale take place.

AEG at one time owned over half of the league, but now stands with just two teams, Houston and LA.

The good news for Houston fans, any sale will not effect the negotiations to get the club a soccer stadium as any sale would include a non- relocation clause which would severely penalize the new owners if they moved before the lease for the stadium was up.

However, the stadium might face an issue of a different sort from the NBA's Houston Rockets. It seems the Rockets have a provision in their lease of the Toyota Center that 'prohibits the city from promoting or helping build a rival venue that would stage concerts.' Since AEG is all about building soccer stadiums that can be used for concerts, this could be a problem. However, if the Rockets will not budge, AEG might hold off staging any concerts in the new stadium till the agreement ends in 2013.

Of course a better solution would be to just build a stadium without a stage, but good solutions don't always equal profit, thus it will never happen.

Still, it looks like the Dynamo will soon have local owners, which would mean the league would have 14 owners for their 15 teams (I'm including Seattle) and a stadium. Now if the Hunt family can just find a buyer for the Crew, all will be right. Hard to believe that as recently as 2003, there were only three owners for the whole league. A lot has changed in four years.

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