Major League Soccer (MLS) club Houston Dynamo has agreed a naming rights deal for its stadium with the Shell Energy division of UK oil and gas company, Shell, a partnership that is set to have a focus on sustainable venue operations.
Under the multi-year contract, the first significant soccer-specific stadium in a downtown district will re-open its doors as Shell Energy Stadium in 2023. The venue recently celebrated its 11th season in MLS and closed the year with the first full sell-out for women’s NWSL team Houston Dash, which also calls the stadium home, as they made their playoff debut in front of 21,284 fans.
The entry of Shell Energy, an existing commercial partner, follows the completion of a 10-year contract with financial services group BBVA Compass, which has held naming rights since the stadium opened in 2012. Due to corporate changes within BBVA Compass, the venue has operated under three different names during this time – BBVA Compass Stadium, BBVA Stadium and finally PNC Stadium.
“On behalf of the club, we are ecstatic to not only expand our relationship with Shell Energy but combine efforts to truly impact the city of Houston through an array of community and sustainability projects,” said Houston Dynamo majority owner and chairman, Ted Segal.
“We look forward to welcoming our passionate fans to Shell Energy Stadium this spring following an extensive renovation to enhance the experience of all guests.”
As part of the agreement, the stadium will feature new marquee signage at the north end, along with Shell Energy signage and branding prominently displayed throughout the venue. In addition to the naming rights agreement, the Dynamo and Shell Energy are pursuing a variety of integrated energy and decarbonisation solutions at the stadium, while also collaborating on community initiatives. This includes a near-term goal to reduce the club’s scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2026 from a 2018 base year.
Beginning in early 2023, Shell Energy will institute a decarbonisation program starting with energy efficiency improvements to venue-wide LED lighting, on-site renewable energy via a rooftop solar array, renewable electricity, energy monitoring and management with a sub-metering system, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
“This is a really special opportunity to join Houston Dynamo FC and the Houston Dash to enable their path to further sustainability,” said Glenn Wright, senior vice-president of Shell Energy.
“We’re proud to work with the club on delivering decarbonisation solutions, just as we offer 100% renewable electricity plans to homeowners in Houston and across Texas. I’m excited for our teams to continue to build on the positive legacy of the club in Houston through the wide range of initiatives both at the stadium and in the broader community.”
Since Segal’s arrival as the majority owner and chairman of the Dynamo in June 2021, the venue has undergone multi-phase renovations to offer supporters a safe-standing section and the addition of two premium spaces in the south end.
Additionally, construction is underway at Shell Energy Stadium as the venue expands its premium offering with an all-inclusive air-conditioned club on the east concourse. The current project also includes the installation of all-new mesh seats throughout the entire seating bowl. The multi-million-dollar project is scheduled for completion in early March.