We arrived in Houston on Friday and since it was a midday flight that encountered delays, it was pretty much a travel day and nothing else. Saturday was when we spent our time touring the city and with the hotel being right downtown, we began by walking the area. I was surprised at how empty it was. I learned that the Central Business District is just that, a section of skyscrapers for MF 9-5ers and then the area is pretty much done. That made our walk a little creepy, given how desolate it was. We went through a few parks, including Sam Houston Park, which didn’t feature anything worth seeing. We did find the Museum District to be enjoyable and the Metro Rail made for a simple ride to this section of the city six stations to the south. The Museum of Natural History was our lone destination and it took the whole day as it was a huge place. I didn’t like all the optional costly add-ons, but I did love the in-depth museum itself, which rivaled the one in NYC.
We were thankful to miss evening thunderstorms as my Dad and I headed to BBVA Compass Stadium for the Dynamo game that had no weather delays. Our hotel shuttle dropped us off in the EaDo section of the city and we saw a small street fest outside the gates before heading in. I love the orange flavor of the stadium and the constant color scheme gives the place character. It’s a nice stadium with a design that features a bit of creativity and solid sightlines all around. The structure is a double-decker that is in the shape of a rounded rectangle. There are a few minor negative notes, my primary one being the cheap and slightly uncomfortable seats. I’ll detail the other negative stuff in the official review, which is posted as I had some spare time to write while on the 7-day cruise that we took following this game.
The crowd was light on this Saturday Night and there were more empty seats than bodies in them. You would think geography would make a Houston a great soccer city, but that just isn’t the case. The Houston Chronicle newspaper furthered that point by burying the game recap on Page 11. While the attendance number suffered, the fans there made up for it with noise and passion. The problem was that they went too far. The Dynamo picked up an early red card and way too many acted like morons the rest of the night. It started with streamers being thrown onto the field after every call against the home side. That evolved to all out shenanigans in the 90th minute as full beer cans were directed at the referee who attempted to go to video review (and smartly left the area). Total idiots and it’s the ugliest crowd I’ve seen at a game in person. Sporting KC got the win and Houston got the distinction of finishing the night with a club record for yellow cards and red cards. That unfortunately will be a lasting memory from an otherwise solid soccer stadium.