Houston, Baltimore Dynamo plan to offer hearing on relocation before season begins

The Houston Dynamo and the Baltimore Dash both announced on Thursday that they would sign new collective bargaining agreements that will allow them to seek further relocation approval from Major League Soccer’s labor committee as early as this summer. Both organizations say they remain on track to move to new stadiums and agree that the new CBA will allow them to hold additional CBA discussions this fall.

The pair have had tough times in recent months, struggling mightily to find teams to land home games, which cost nearly $4 million per game. The Houston Dynamo purchased the site of the former Toyota Center — at the northeast corner of Howard and Spring avenues — and moved their game from Minute Maid Park to their new digs. They announced last week that they will also hold another round of interviews with candidates for a new stadium.

Since moving, the Dynamo have become the league’s top-scoring team, and have won the conference title in each of the last four seasons. They have also reached the playoffs three consecutive years.

The Dash, meanwhile, are seeking a new stadium. The team’s current home, Towson Stadium, in the Baltimore suburbs, is one of three currently in the league with a capacity of under 1,000. They have struggled to get past the field.

The CBA will allow the Dash to host fewer home games and allow that cost to rise in subsequent seasons to cater to more fans.

While there has been some public opposition by fans to the deal, both sides acknowledge that the fans will win in the end.

“[The Dash] continue to strive to make the fans of the two cities proud of the team and of the fans’ efforts to build a viable, fan-based professional soccer league,” said Dash director of business services Todd Smart. “A sports fan is the last person we want to screw over. [We’re] committed to bringing our fans back with a winning team that they can enjoy the season with.”

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