There’s a new sheriff in town, Houston soccer fans. On Tuesday, Houston-based Dynamo football club announced developer Ted Segal as their new majority owner and chairman of the board. As the main boss, Segal will name the games of two professional football franchises in Bayou City: the Houston Major Football League Dynamo and the current National Women’s Football League Challenge Cup. Champions, dash. Segal also received a controlling interest in the lease of the BBVA stadium, where both teams play.
“Houston is a world-class city that deserves world-class teams,” Segal said during an opening press conference, which was also attended by Don Garber and Lisa Byrd, MSL and NWSL Commissioners. “I believe that Dynamo and Dash should represent the very best of Houston, and I recognize that my role in helping the club succeed is to provide teams with the resources they need to be successful on and off the pitch.”
A New Jersey native and self-proclaimed lifelong soccer fanatic, Segal is the founder and president of the EJS Group, a New York-based real estate group that invests in markets across the United States. He also co-founded and leads Verance Capitalthat provides capital for sports, media and entertainment, including an immersive Wonka-style experience. Candytopia… And his new connection with Houston is not as accidental as it might seem; his father and brother are running LS Powerwhich has offices here.
Following the pattern of his new teams, Seagal wasted no time outlining his first steps as an owner, including a three-year contract extension with defender Tim Parker, the signing of Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe, and the hiring of former Texas President Jamie Roots as the team’s CEO. Segal also made promises to the community, announcing large charitable contributions to Dynamo Charities and the Houston Food Bank, as well as initiatives to promote play among Houston’s youth along with other nonprofits focused on children.
“Perhaps most importantly, the club’s ability to influence the community through good performance is a powerful tool that few non-sport organizations can compete with,” said Segal, who succeeds Gabriel Brener as franchise owner. (Brener and his former control group, which includes Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Gill and James Harden, are expected to retain a minority stake.)
But the most exciting announcement for H-Town football fans was probably that Segal announced that he would be actively involved in Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Everything we do is a championship club, ”he said, before repeating the merit of FC Dynamo. “Let’s wait and get to work.”