There’s a new sheriff in town, Houston football fans. On Tuesday, the Houston Dynamo Football Club announced real estate developer Ted Segal as the new majority owner and chairman. As chief honcho, Segal will name the games for Bayou City’s two professional soccer franchises: Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s reigning Challenge Cup winner, The Dash. Segal also took a majority stake in the leasing rights to the BBVA stadium, where both teams play.
“Houston is a world-class city that deserves world-class teams,” said Segal during his opening press conference, which was also attended by Don Garber and Lisa Baird, commissioners of the MLS and NWSL. “I believe Dynamo and Dash should represent the best of Houston, and I understand that my role in the club’s success is to provide the teams with the resources to thrive on and off the pitch . “
Segal is a native of New Jersey and an avowed lifelong soccer fan. He is the founder and president of the EJS Group, a New York City real estate group that invests in markets in the United States. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Verance Capital, which provides capital to sports, media, and live entertainment companies, including the Wonka-like immersive experience, Candytopia. And his new association with Houston isn’t as random as it might seem; his father and brother run LS Power, which has offices here.
Following the play pattern of his new teams, Segal wasted no time outlining his first steps as the owner, including a three-year contract extension for defender Tim Parker, signing Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe and hiring former Texas President Jamey Rootes as CEO of the Teams. Segal also made promises to the community, announcing large charitable donations to Dynamo Charities and the Houston Food Bank, as well as initiatives to spread the game among Houston youth among other child-centric nonprofits.
“Perhaps most importantly, the club’s ability to influence the community through good work is a powerful tool that few organizations outside of sport can compete with,” said Segal, who succeeds Gabriel Brener as franchise owner occurs. (Brener and his former majority ownership group, which includes Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill, and James Harden, are expected to retain a minority stake).
But the most exciting announcement for H-Town football fans probably came when Segal announced that he would take an active role in Houston’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
Everything we do is the champions club’s goal, ”he said before advocating Dynamo FC’s credo. “Let’s ‘push’ and get to work.”