South American Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Dynamo sell naming rights, Santos reaches final and more

Dynamo (Getty Images)

Houston Dynamo fans have been waiting since the club's inaugural 2006 season for a soccer-specific stadium they could call their own, and, come May, that dream will be realized.

According to the Houston Chronicle, that stadium will be named BBVA Compass Stadium at an official ceremony slated for Wednesday afternoon. BBVA Compass is a worldwide bank that has a large presence in Houston and also holds sponsorship rights to La Liga in Spain.

The naming deal for MLS' newest stadium is reportedly worth $20 million over the next 10 years. The first game there is scheduled for May 12 against a yet-to-be-announced opponent.

Here are a few more stories to get your Wednesday going:


It took Neymar all of 19 minutes to make an impact at the FIFA Club World Cup, as he got the ball rolling on Santos' 3-1 victory over host Kashiwa Reysol in their semifinal match.

Neymar faked a shot, cut back to his left foot and lofted a ball from about 25 yards into the left upper 90 to open the scoring. Borges scored five minutes later off a beautiful turn-and-fire from the top of the box to double the lead, but Kashiwa pulled one back with Hiroki Sakai's power header off a corner kick in the 54th minute.

Danilo ended all doubt for the Brazilians and capped the scoring with a low, 63rd-minute free kick that took a wicked curve and placed the South American champions in the final, where they'll play either Barcelona or Al Sadd.


CONCACAF entrant Monterrey salvaged a fifth-place finish at the Club World Cup, taking down African champions Esperance with a 3-2 result.

Hiram Mier, Aldo de Nigris and Jesus Zavala scored in an eight-minute stretch spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second to lift the Mexican side, which was without injured striker Humberto Suazo.

Esperance pulled within a goal with a late penalty but couldn't find the equalizer and settled for sixth place at the seven-team tournament. 

Highlights can be seen here.


After just four months in charge, Leonel Alvarez is through as coach of the Colombia national team.

Alvarez, a former Colombia assistant and standout player, took over for Hernan Dario Gomez after the coach got into a physical altercation with a woman at a bar. Alvarez guided Colombia to a win over Bolivia, a loss to Argentina and a draw with Venezuela in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying but was ultimately let go.

Former Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino, a top candidate for the job over the summer, is a speculative candidate once again according to reports.


What do you think of the Dynamo's new stadium name? What nicknames for the stadium can you come up with? Impressed with the quality of Santos' goals? Disappointed that Monterrey couldn't at least reach the semifinals? What do you make of Alvarez getting axed?

Share your thoughts below.

  • houston dyna-i dunno-mo.

    10 years for $20 million? Seem like a low number/lengthy contract to anyone else, even when keeping things in context?

    maybe i’m just being debbie downer?

    anyway, great work houston (club, supporters, city)!


  • Poo

    with the salary cap where it is now that can likely pay half of the salary of the team for the net several years.


  • blag

    meh, I am not good with puns, felt like posting it anyways. I did not think of that one, but I like it.


  • houston dyna-i dunno-mo

    Columbus doesn’t have a brand new stadium, in a market that loves their club.

    hence the general question: was it too long of a contract?

    don’t get me wrong, it’s a great sign for the league and it’s clubs, i’m just posing the question for debates sake.


  • The Imperative Voice

    ‘m amazed no one’s (not the reporter or the comments so far) brought up that BBVA Compass loaned the Houston Dynamo tens of millions ($60-70 million?) towards the construction of the stadium (and for all we know has a lien on it). They now ostensibly pay for naming rights. In that context this sounds more like an offset (directly or indirectly) of what the Dynamo owe BBVA and less like some random sponsorship deal. Where a deal with, say, Methodist, Reliant, or Toyota, would have gone into the Dynamo bank account and then be spent/financed/leveraged as the Dynamo saw fit, this may in fact just be a regular debit on our “mortgage,” or a check that we in effect will sign back over to BBVA. There is debt to service and this is a slight favor and not a slap in the face, but it’s more ambiguous than the ever-present Dynamo cheerleaders insist, who seem to support any decision the club makes. I personally don’t know if I’d be all that enthused about putting my bank’s marquee on my house in exchange for a reduction in my mortgage.

    Also worth noting that BBVA has come up with some sort of “Dynamo” communications product for its branches that means trading on the Dynamo team/stadium name is not random but in fact a useful double entendre for the corporation. One hopes the Dynamo extracted something extra in exchange for playing off their name, but the deal isn’t that high dollar IMO.


  • SD

    $2 million per year in euros is nothing for them, it’s like 1 million euros…drop in the bucket for BBVA


  • Gnarls

    Thanks to the Euro debt crisis it’s more like 1.5 million euros… but I split hairs for fun.


  • Huey

    Cool sources. Seems like mostly speculation. .

    In fact, BBVA financed the $20m TIRZ needed to pass the stadium, not the construction costs. At the time, we couldn’t find a bank for this financing (and it’s what Houston City Council was relying on to pass approval) and BBVA were the only ones willing to front that money. That means we didn’t get a discounted rate or anything. We played into their terms.

    The construction costs (~$60m)were split up and syndicated to various other sources, not BBVA. Don’t forget the owners, too.

    And $20m for 10-year naming rights is the standard right now. This is the exact same deal set up with Philly/PPL park and right around the same for RSL/Rio Tinto. This deal is only outshot by Toronto/BMO Field ($27m) and LA-CHV/Home Depot Center ($75m). It’s plenty high dollar and it’s a legitimate deal.

    Or, I don’t know, I suppose I’m a Dynamo cheerleader.


  • patrick

    i dont think it’s too long, or not enough $$. First off, when doing a stadium rights deal you want as much stability as possible, no one wants to keep renaming it every 2 or 3 years. Money wise, it’s right in line with most other deals. Rio Tinot pays between 1.5 and 2 mill a year (in a 10 year deal). Philly got 20 mill over 11 years from PPL, and while I couldn’t find $$ amounts, Toyota signed a 10 year deal with the Fire. Pizza Hut signed a 20 year deal with Dallas. Toronto seems to be the big winner with a 10 year deal worth $27 million.

    For what it’s worth, except Salt Lake, and possibly Toronto, those are all larger markets than Houston, so I’d say they did pretty damn well!


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