Search

Homes Sweet Homes

May 21, 2012
May 21, 2012

Table of Contents
May 21, 2012

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
TIM DUNCAN
  • Tim Duncan is the most successful player of his generation, maybe even its best, the foundation of yet another Spurs team built to win it all. So why haven't you fallen for him? The reasons aren't all black-and-white

BASEBALL
  • That's the question surrounding one of baseball's crown jewels as the sport enriches its young stars with an unprecedented urgency, changing the economics of the game

  • Eric Hosmer isn't the only exciting young player whom teams should try to keep under control for as long as possible. These coming stars are next in line for a long-term contract

NHL PLAYOFFS
OLYMPICS
Jabari Parker
Departments

Homes Sweet Homes

With the debut of the Dynamo's new downtown Houston stadium, most every MLS team now has a venue well-suited for the sport

When the Houston Dynamo opened its new 22,000-seat soccer home, BBVA Compass Stadium, with a 1--0 victory over D.C. United last Saturday, it marked yet another step in the maturation of Major League Soccer. The 16-year-old league has grown from 12 to 19 teams since 2006, and by this summer, when Saputo Stadium opens in Montreal, all but four franchises will be playing in venues designed or refurbished with soccer as a top priority. The result: More MLS games now actually feel major league, a vibe that was aided in Houston last week by a raucous sellout crowd that included NFL No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck, whose father, Oliver, helped get the stadium built as the Dynamo's former team president.

This is an article from the May 21, 2012 issue

Houston's $95 million venue, for which ownership footed $60 million of the bill, isn't the ritziest of MLS's facilities, which include Sporting Kansas City's Livestrong Sporting Park and New York's Red Bull Arena. (Each cost $200 million.) But BBVA Compass has plenty of attractive features: seating that's close to the field, including 33 luxury suites fewer than 10 rows up; a mesh exterior that will help on hot summer days; a striking all-orange motif to represent one of the league's best-branded clubs; and, importantly, an urban location near the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park that's a departure from MLS stadiums in the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, Dallas and Denver.

Now the fun part—the soccer—begins after 15 months of stadium construction. The Dynamo has long been one of MLS's better teams, winning titles in 2006 and '07 and reaching last year's final. With top players in midfielder Brad Davis (whose 30-yard left-footed rocket gave the new stadium a worthy first goal), defender Geoff Cameron and forward Brian Ching, Houston should challenge again for the Eastern crown. For MLS as a whole, the dream of creating a vibrant atmosphere throughout the league, in real soccer stadiums, is close to being realized.

FOLLOW @GrantWahl

PHOTOERIC CHRISTIAN SMITH/GETTY IMAGESORANGE CRUSH The intimate dimensions at BBVA Compass gave the sellout crowd an up-close look at the Dynamo's 1--0 win against D.C. United.