There’s a new sheriff in town, Houston soccer fans. On Tuesday, the Houston Dynamo Football Club announced real estate developer Ted Segal as its new majority owner and chairman. As head honcho, Segal will call the plays for the Bayou City’s two professional soccer franchises: the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, and National Women’s Soccer League’s reigning Challenge Cup champions, the Dash. Segal also took majority interest in the leasing rights to BBVA Stadium, where both teams play.
“Houston is a world class city that deserves world class teams,” Segal said during his introductory press conference, which also featured Don Garber and Lisa Baird, commissioners of the MLS and NWSL. “I believe the Dynamo and the Dash should represent the very best of Houston, and I recognize that my role in contributing to the club's success is to provide the teams with resources necessary to succeed on and off the pitch.”
A New Jersey native and self-professed lifelong soccer fan, Segal is the founder and president of EJS Group, a New York City real estate group that invests in markets across the United States. He also co-founded and chairs Verance Capital, which provides capital for sports, media, and live entertainment businesses including Wonka-like immersive experience Candytopia. And his new tie to Houston isn’t as random as it might seem; his father and brother run LS Power, which has offices here.
Following in the play pattern of his new teams, Segal wasted no time outlining his first steps of action as owner, including a three-year extension of the contract of defender Tim Parker, the signing of Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe, and the hiring of former Texans President Jamey Rootes as the team’s CEO. Segal also made promises to the community, announcing major charitable contributions to Dynamo Charities and the Houston Food Bank, as well as initiatives to grow the game among Houston youth alongside other children’s-focused nonprofits.
“Perhaps most importantly, the club’s ability to influence the community through good work is a powerful tool that few organizations outside of sports can rival,” said Segal, who succeeds Gabriel Brener as franchise owner. (Brener and his former majority ownership group, which includes Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill, and James Harden, are expected to maintain a minority stake).
But the most exciting announcement for H-Town soccer fans likely came when Segal announced he would take an active role in Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Everything we do is with goal of championship club,” he said, before repping that Dynamo FC cred. “Let’s ‘hold it down’ and get to work.”