BBVA Compass Stadium
View from inside the stadium with the Downtown Houston skyline in the background
|Location||2200 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77003
|Owner||Harris County–Houston Sports Authority|
|Operator||Anschutz Entertainment Group|
|Field size||115 × 70 yards|
|Broke ground||February 5, 2011|
|Opened||May 12, 2012|
|Construction cost||$95 million
($97.6 million in 2015 dollars)
|Project manager||Harris County - Houston Sports Authority/ICON Venue|
|Structural engineer||Walter P. Moore|
|Services engineer||M–E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Manhattan Construction Company|
|Houston Dynamo (MLS) (2012–present)
Houston Dash (NWSL) (2014–present)
Texas Southern Tigers (NCAA) (2012–present)
IRB Women's Sevens World Series (2013)
USA Eagles (2012-present)
BBVA Compass Stadium is an American soccer-specific stadium located in Houston, Texas that is home to the Houston Dynamo, a Major League Soccer club, the Houston Dash of the National Women's Soccer League, and to Texas Southern Tigers football. The stadium is the result of combined commitments of $35.5 million from the city of Houston and $60 million from the Houston Dynamo. Harris County agreed to pay for half of the land in exchange for the ability to jointly own the stadium after its completion date in May 2012. BBVA Compass, a subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, is the stadium's sponsor company.
Construction history: 2009–2011
In June 2009, negotiations and financing began to fall into place with construction of the stadium originally beginning as early as Fall 2009. Banks and investors were in the books to finance the project and only minor details were being worked out. Various locations the Dynamo were interested in building a stadium since their arrival were the former Astroworld site, Pearland, Sugar Land, and Northeast Houston near the Lake Houston area.
On January 26, 2010, the Houston Dynamo franchise had expressed an interest in a proposed 30-acre (120,000 m2) parcel for the stadium location at South Rice Avenue and Westpark Drive—adjacent to Bellaire's city limits, and near the southwest corner of the U.S. Highway 59 and the Interstate 610 interchange. Two days later, the Mayor of Bellaire, Cindy Seigel said that she would use whatever power she could to oppose the possible new location and is in communication with the developer to dissuade him. She acknowledges that considering that the land is in Houston's city limits and only abuts her city, the odds are slim and said in an open letter to Midway:
Fans on the north and east side of Houston will have difficulty in getting to this site. Additionally, this site does not have the infrastructure in place to serve it that already exists at other athletic facilities downtown or at Reliant Park.
The highly populated and heavily Hispanic area of Gulfton is within proximity, although former Council member Pam Holm stated that ethnic considerations should not be key to choosing a stadium location: "To position this as a Hispanic sport and say the stadium has to be in proximity to Hispanic neighborhoods doesn’t do it justice, the Dynamo is something that all citizens of Houston have so embraced."
On April 7, 2010, The Houston City Council unanimously approved an agreement Wednesday that is expected to pave the way for a new stadium for the Houston Dynamo and the Texas Southern University football team, which is expected to be on a tract of land bordered by Texas, Walker, Dowling and Hutchins in East Downtown and east of U.S. Route 59 and Downtown Houston. On April 13, 2010, Harris County commissioners voted unanimously to begin construction of the new Dynamo stadium east of downtown, clearing the way for construction sometime in February 2011.
Oliver Luck, at the time President and General Manager of the Dynamo, announced the financing, architect, and project manager for the new stadium. He announced Populous had been chosen to design and build the stadium. Populous, one of the world's leading sports architecture firms, had previously built three other major venues in the city—Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium, and the Toyota Center, and internationally designed soccer stadia including Wembley Stadium (London), Emirates Stadium (London), Soccer City (Johannesburg), and Aviva Stadium (Dublin).
On February 5, 2011, the Houston Dynamo, led by Houston mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmitt, broke ground on the Houston Dynamo Stadium site. Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti strongly expressed that the stadium will be ready by April 2012.
Construction on BBVA Compass Stadium led to the Houston Dynamo's decision to play their first 7 games of the 2012 Major League Soccer season on the road. Their first match at the stadium was played on May 12, 2012 when they defeated DC United by a score of 1-0. The lone goal came from Brad Davis from 35 yards out which beat D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid. The win happened in front of a capacity crowd of 22,039 and would mark the beginning of what would be an unbeaten year for the Dynamo at home, posting a year-end home record of 11-0-6.
BBVA Compass Stadium became home to several international. The first was between New Zealand and El Salvador for the BBVA Compass Content Series on May 23, 2012. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. The first FIFA Qualifier match was played between Mexico and Guyana on October 12, 2012. Mexico won the match, 5-0.
The United States MNT also made their return to Houston since the Semifinals of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup on June 22, 2011 at Reliant Stadium. The USMNT played Canada on January 29, 2013 with the game ending in a scoreless draw.
The Houston Dynamo broke the Major League Soccer record for longest unbeaten run at home on April 14, 2013 after defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 behind Brad Davis' assist to Will Bruin in the 26th minute and goal in the 81st minute. The win extended the record to 35 games.
BBVA Compass Stadium played host to the 2012 Italian Tour of the Americas which saw the USA Eagles play Italy to a 30-10 loss. The Eagles returned to BBVA Compass Stadium to play a mid-year rugby test match against Ireland on June 8, 2013; the Eagles lost 15-12, but set a record for largest crowd for the Eagles on home soil when 20,181 fans packed the stadium. BBVA Compass Stadium also holds the record for third highest attendance for the Eagles on home soil with 17,214 against Italy on June 23, 2012.
BBVA Compass Stadium played host to the 2012–13 IRB Women's Sevens World Series in the USA leg of the series. However, the USA leg of the World Series was moved to the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, Georgia for the 2013–14 series, where it has remained ever since.
The USA Eagles played, and lost 6 - 24, Scotland on June 7, 2014 as part of 2014 Scotland Tour of the Americas and South Africa.
BBVA Compass Stadium plays host to local high school football games and Texas Southern University football games.
BBVA Compass Stadium played host to Houston Cougars football games on October 12, 2013 against the Memphis Tigers and on November 23, 2013 against the Cincinnati Bearcats while their new stadium was being built.
BBVA Compass Stadium played host to the first ever Gaelic Football game on an MLS pitch August 3, 2014 when the Houston Gaels played an demonstration match (divided squad) after the Houston Dynamo-D.C. United match. The Gaels were originally scheduled to play on March 15 after the Dynamo-Montreal Impact match as part of the Saint Patrick's Day weekend festivities, but was postponed due to concerns about the pitch due to rain. 
Features & design
The Stadium has a capacity of 22,039 seats, including 34 private suites, 1,100 club seats, Premium Club, dedicated supporters stand, and food court. The stadium is designed to accommodate MLS and FIFA standard international soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and concerts.
Architecturally, the stadium features a faceted facade of expanded metal mesh with orange polycarbonate enclosed entrances and spectator facilities that reflects the industrial heritage of the East Downtown location. The stadium architect, Christopher Lee of Populous, stated that, “We set out to design the perfect urban soccer stadium: tight, atmospheric, and intimate.” Christopher Lee was the designer of the famed Emirates Stadium in London, England, and his design brings European stadium traditions of intimate and atmospheric soccer specific stadia to MLS. The $95m stadium construction cost makes the BBVA Compass Stadium the most cost-effective of modern soccer-specific stadiums, with recent venues like the Red Bull Arena costing $200 million, Rio Tinto Stadium costing $110 million, and PPL Park costing $115 million.
On December 13, 2011, BBVA Compass, an international bank with dozens of branches in Houston, signed a 10-year, $20 million naming rights deal. BBVA is also a title sponsor of Spain's First Division soccer league, La Liga.
On December 10, 2012, BBVA Compass Stadium received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The stadium received the award for its innovative construction and sustainable design. Notable achievements during the stadium's construction process included diverting 86.85 percent of on-site generated construction waste to landfills, reducing water use by 41 percent from the installation of high-energy toilets, reducing energy use by 20.41 percent, using 98.42 percent of the wood-based building materials from certified forests and providing preferred parking spaces for fuel-efficient low-emissions vehicles.
On March 22, 2012, AEG Facilities-managed BBVA Compass and the Houston Dynamo announced that Levy Restaurants will be the official restaurant partner.
Accessibility and transportation
Once the METRORail Green line is completed, fans will be able to access the stadium from the Bastrop Station, Taxi, Buses, street, and garage parking nearby. The stadium is located southeast of Minute Maid Park—within the East Downtown district (which is undergoing revitalization efforts) and east of Downtown Houston.
Before the official Opening Day against D.C. United on May 12, 2012, the Dynamo hosted a friendly prior to the home opener. The first soccer game took place on May 10, 2012 with an exhibition game between the Houston Dynamo Academy and the United States U-17 Men's team.
|Final score||HOU 1 – 0 DCU|
|Opening day attendance||22,036^|
|First kickoff||D.C. United|
|First shot||D.C. United|
|First goal||Brad Davis (HOU) (67')[note 1]|
|First assist||André Hainault (HOU) (67')|
|First substitution||Stephen King for Perry Kitchen (DCU) (28')|
|First yellow card||Jermaine Taylor (HOU) (45+1')|
|First red card||None|
- ^ Sell-out crowd
|First game||May 10, 2012||Houston Dynamo Academy 0 – 3 United States U-17 Men's|
|First goal||May 10, 2012||Ahinga Selemani (USA)|
|First goal (regular season)||May 12, 2012||Brad Davis (HOU)|
|First goal (playoffs)[note 2]||November 4, 2012||Adam Moffat (HOU)[note 3]|
- Brad Davis is one of two original Dynamo players from the 2006 season when the San Jose Earthquakes players and management moved to Houston; the other is Brian Ching
- 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals: 1st Leg (vs Sporting Kansas City)
- Goal was scored in the 18th minute (assisted by Will Bruin)
- Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (May 18, 2012). "BBVA Compass Stadium's Pitch Size Draws Ire". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Dynamo Stadium Information
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- Shay, Miya (January 26, 2010). "Dynamo looking at stadium site near Galleria". Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Auilar, Charlotte (January 28, 2010). "Bellaire mayor challenges Dynamo stadium plan". Memorial Examiner. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Aguilar, Charlotte (January 28, 2010). "Who knew? Dynamo private stadium deal was privileged info". West University Examiner. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- "County approves Dynamo stadium deal".
- "Dynamo Choose Stadium Architect, Project Manager".
- De Jesus Ortiz, Jose (February 5, 2011). "Dynamo Break Ground on New East End Stadium". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- Simon, Jason (August 6, 2014). "Soccer, a win, and Gaelic Football…". What's the Score. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
- Populous selected to design Dynamo stadium
- Populous Designs Stadium for Houston Dynamo
- Giase, Frank (February 26, 2007). "Red Bulls: MacDonald Strives to Fulfill a Town's Tradition". The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey). Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "Stadium Facts". Rio Tinto Stadium. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- PPL Park
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|Host of the College Cup