Tuesday evening a brief email from the Houston Dynamo front office slipped into the inbox of season ticket holders and fans with some unexpected and unpleasant news. The email said:
We have elected to re-schedule the ceremonial groundbreaking that was tentatively planned for this Saturday. Over the next few days, we will pinpoint a new date. This does not change the timeline for construction and an April 2012 opening.
This news came as a shock to Dynamo fans, who were told just a few days ago that the groundbreaking ceremony was planned for this coming Saturday, January 29. It is too early to read too much from the email, but the announcement is perplexing both to Dynamo fans, season ticket holders, and sponsors.
Earlier this week, Zach Woosley of Dynamo Theory discussed the progress of the stadium deal, detailing the few remaining steps in the process. One of the more important points in his post is the discussion of what could delay the groundbreaking ceremony.
[T]he ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 29th at 2pm but events in the Harris County Commissioner's Court and the Houston City Council will determine if the event is allowed to proceed.
There is no reason to believe that the two political entities won't sign off on the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 15, a public financing tool that encourages public-private partnerships and is based on increased tax revenue generated by the development of the stadium, but until this final measure is approved, the light can't truly turn green on construction of the stadium.
While the minutes from today's Commissioners Court of Harris County meeting are not currently available, the Houston Dynamo Stadium decision was in the meeting's agenda, listed as item "E" under "Community Services." The agenda said, "Request for approval of an interlocal agreement between the county, City of Houston, East Downtown Redevelopment Authority, and the City of Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 15 in connection with the project coasts related to the Dynamo Stadium."