Feb 1, 2023 - Sports

Dynamo and Dash soccer teams detail stadium upgrades

The East End will look a little different this soccer season. Photo courtesy of the Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo and Dash are gearing up to unveil considerable upgrades to their stadium.

Driving the news: Along with a new name, Shell Energy Stadium in the East End will feature new seating, expanded premium areas, electric vehicle charging stations and onsite renewable energy production this year.

  • The goal is to cut stadium greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2026.

Why it matters: Officials for the professional soccer teams hope to build off of last season's momentum this year.

  • The Dash set the stadium's attendance record in October when 21,284 fans crammed into the open-air bowl for the team's first-ever playoff berth.

What they're saying: "We're really excited about all the interest following the World Cup [in 2022]," said Jessica O'Neill, COO of the Dynamo and president of the Dash.

  • "There's more coming with the Women's World Cup this summer. And obviously ahead of 2026 with Houston being a host city. We have a lot of exciting things in the works that will hopefully expose more folks who haven't ever been to a professional soccer match in the U.S."

Details: The clubs are replacing the stadium's 21,000 orange plastic seats with new mesh seats that will be about 30 degrees cooler than the old ones — a likely appreciated feature during Houston's scorching summer days.

  • Seats in the upper deck will be black and orange, spelling out "Houston," while the lower deck will feature black, orange and Space City blue seats, a nod to the Dash.
  • Plus: The stadium will feature an expanded indoor club for premium seats and all-LED lighting.

State of play: Much of the work is underway, including the outfitting of the stadium's roof with solar panels.

  • Shell Energy will also be installing special monitoring equipment to give stadium officials a live look at emissions.

The big picture: "There are a lot of things going on over there," O'Neill said. "It will look a lot different when we open in the next couple months."

  • "[We want] to make sure we're practicing what we're preaching as far as having renewable energy at our stadium."

What we're watching: The Major League Soccer season kicks off Feb. 25, but the Dynamo's home opener isn't until March 18 against Austin FC.

  • The Dash start play in the National Women's Soccer League in late March.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Houston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more