Venue News: Reliant Stadium Owner Draws on Reserve To Service Debt

The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, for the first time, is turning to its $56 million reserve account to make a debt payment on Reliant Stadium. The Houston Chronicle reported that the authority is short $5 million on a payment due this week on the venue, which is home to the Houston Texans. The debt payments surged in 2009 after the downgrade of its bond insurer and then a bank’s demand that the authority pay off, in five years, debt that had been due by 2030.

The San Jose Earthquakes hope to open a 15,000-seat soccer stadium in 2012, and no later than 2013, owner Lew Wolff said in an interview this week. In the past, the Los Angeles developer has declined to give a timeline on when he might build a privately funded, $60 million facility across from Mineta San Jose International Airport. “We’re taking every step toward a building permit that we can,” he said. “I don’t want to overdo it. These are very difficult times.” Wolff’s comments provide the latest sign of ownership’s commitment to keeping a soccer team in San Jose after Major League Soccer moved another version of the Earthquakes to Houston in 2005.

The chief executive of the New Meadowlands Stadium blamed New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority equipment for the two power outages that occurred during the New York Giants game with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Mark Lamping, chief executive of the new $1.6 billion stadium, which serves as the home for the Giants and Jets, said that one of the sports authority’s transformers malfunctioned, causing the first outage. A subsequent failure threw the stadium into total darkness for about five or six seconds. “All these issues are outside the building,” Lamping said in a radio interview with WFAN New York on Monday. “They weren’t inside the building. Now, just like anyone who owns a home, if there is a power failure, you have to deal with it.”

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