What Would You Do With The Astrodome?

As many of you may have heard by now, Tuesday afternoon was an opportunity for the media to take a tour of the Astrodome. It was an opportunity that I for one, was not going to pass up, and I’m sure glad I didn’t.

Walking inside, I was reminded of the many games and events that I attended there as a kid. Some of my most memorable moments as a kid going to the dome was seeing the Rolling Stones concert I think in 1995, when I was in 6th grade. Also The many Oilers and Astro games I took in as well stuck out to me. One Astro game I remember the best though, the 1997 Division Championship game there, when they beat the Cubs 9-1. Biggio, Bagwell, Hampton riding around on Harley’s and smoking cigars, drinking champagne after their victory.

I’m sure many of you have a lot of fond memories as well. However, soon it appears it will time for you to decide that if keeping the dome around will enhance those fond memories while it drains tax payers pockets to the tune of around $3 million a year for maintenance or tearing it down and doing something constructive and financially sound with the site.

astrodome tour101 What Would You Do With The Astrodome?

The Chairman of the Harris County sports and convention corporation, Edgardo Colon joined us on the “Odd Couple Show” last night and discussed 4 options that are currently being considered for the Astrodome.

1) Involves keeping it as is. Doing nothing. This will cost Houston more than $2 million a year in maintenance.

2) Cover the footprint of the Astrodome with a green space plaza. This will be costly, to the tune of around $84 million. County officials say the dome cannot be imploded as easily as some say it should because of potential damage it could do to the surrounding Reliant facilities.

3) Gutting the dome and leave the shell. This option would include construction of a technology center and planetarium inside the dome. The roof would be covered with solar panels that look like a map of the world when viewed from above. The estimated cost for this option would be around $324 million, including about $43 million in old dome bond payments.

4) The most expensive plan, which is an estimated cost of around $324 million from tax payers and about $264 million from private sources. This plan would include basically everything from the 3rd option, but private investors would be invited to build everything from an alternative energy center to a movie studio.

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(credit: Anna-Megan Raley/CBS Houston)

A report is expected to be completed in a matter of weeks. At that time, the sports and convention corporation will make a recommendation to the County commissioners court, which will then decide upon an option for the future of the Astrodome.

According to Edgardo Colon, these four options, or the ones the commissioners court will be recommended, will at some point be put up to voters to decide what should be done.

Will keeping the dome around as is help save the great memories you once had inside the Astrodome? Will putting the land and/pr site to good use make you feel better about it?

What do you think should be done with the Astrodome?

More from Shaun Bijani
  • Ann

    2 million for maintenance? What does that 2 million entail? So imploding the dome would cause concern for the other buildings around it…they why not implode in sections (not sure if that’s possible). Having it turned into a huge planetarium seems to be a waste of money as well. Not sure if that would be somethiing the public would really enjoy especially for the cost of $324 million. I personally have no idea what should be done other than brining it down. I mean how safe is it really? So gutting it and putting in whatever is needed is cheaper than just brining it down and starting from scratch? Whatever is decided would have to fit in the “dome”. If you start from scratch you are not limited to having everything fit in the dome.

  • JasonG

    Restore it based on the way it was in 1965, scoreboard, Hofheinz apartment and all. Use it for concerts, (real concerts, not the 1.5hr “teasers” that you get at the rodeo) monster truck shows, and other events that happen in Houston on a regualr basis. I agree that we don’t need another stadium in this city, but the fact is that should have been considered before we built all these new facilities. We’ve kept it this long so lets use it, it would probably be much, much, cheaper than all of the other options since it would invovle the least deconstruction. (which is apparently very expensive) If this plan were carried out, it would be profitable once again as well as an attraction within the city. I understand also that New York tore down Yankee Stadium. It was their’s to tear down and they did. The Astrodome is ours, and we don’t have to tear it down just because New York tore down Yankee Stadium, we are Houston and obviously we love our Astrodome otherwise it would have never lasted this long.

  • JimC

    …how bout taking it all down, but use parts of the original pieces (seats, astro turf, scoreboard(s), etc; and incorporate these items into a new incredible “Texas Style” plaza, complete with Hotel, Restaurants, retail shops interactive stuff (for all ages). This would be built to be an attractive “Destination” to coincide with the stadium & convention halls. It also would bring in tons of revenue, and could be used by Locals as well as visitors to Houston. I’m thinkin a better and more exciting version of the “Gaylord” properties

  • Heath

    Parking! There is not enough parking for events at Reliant! Keep the shell of the building for the historical aspects and build a parking garage inside of it. At the prices they charge for parking it would easily pay for itself while providing a solution to a big problem with attending events at Reliant and keeping the iconic building that is such a part of Houston’s history.

  • Mike

    That would have been a good idea 5+ years ago. All that stuff has unfortunately been destroyed by age, neglect, and mold. It is truly a sad thing.

  • catchyhead

    Compaq Center was a dump before Lakewood renovated it beautifully, so it can be done. Purpose: High school and college football games, with a luxury hotel built in. Put a huge lake in the middle that could be covered for football. You could stay in the hotel and sail on the lake. Don’t say you can’t do it. The Romans did it with The Coliseum and staged sea battles there.
    Unfortunately, I’m 99 percent sure the decision has already been made to tear it down and, as Joni Mitchell said: Put up a parking lot. You don’t know what you’ve got tell it’s gone, people

  • ASas

    Make it into a movie studio! That way a new industry can boom here for Houston’s economy. Imagine a mini-Hollywood in Texas.

  • trddak

    hotels business and a new Astroworld.

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