Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Houston's Gus Wortham Muny In Danger

Another day, another story about a golf course in danger of being plowed under. This time, it's the Gus Wortham municipal golf course in Houston's East End. The city is considering turning the golf course into a youth soccer complex.

Why? Because that's what the Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer team is requesting. The Dynamo want a new stadium, and they are in demand by surburban Houston cities seeking to lure the team away from Houston proper. So team owners have asked the City of Houston for a deal that includes not only a new stadium for their games, but also new soccer facilities to help turn young Houstonians into soccer players and fans.

And that's where Gus Wortham might come in. Some folks in the neighborhood don't appeared too enamored with the idea, however. From the Houston Chronicle:

City officials quietly have been looking into converting the old East End course into a soccer-oriented youth facility, which the Dynamo is requesting along with its own stadium as a condition for staying.

Several suburban cities also are kicking around proposals to land the championship soccer team. That's putting pressure on Houston to make a move.

The proposed sports complex, however, would mean the end of existing operations at Gus Wortham Park, which is in a heavily Hispanic community and is one of only four golf courses inside the Loop.

So some community leaders and residents of surrounding neighborhoods want to nix the plan.

Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, who represents the area, said the city should renovate the course, as the National Golf Foundation recommended in 2005, not abandon it.

"Lately, we've prided ourselves so much on historical preservation," Alvarado said. "The golf course itself is a piece of the East End's history, and I don't want to see that destroyed."

The city plans to present an offer to the Dynamo within a month.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Gus Wortham golf course will have it's 100 year anniversary next year. It's a beautiful course that many Houstonians would enjoy playing if the city would make the updatess that have been recommended by the consultant they hired in 2005. It has historical significance as the location of the original Houston Country Club. It is beloved by the neighborhoods that surround it. There are many options for a soccer facility on the East End and throughout the city that would not destroy a historical landmark that so many love.


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