Houston Astrodome Future Left Up to VotersBy: Lacy Wise - November 6, 2013
Voters in Harris Country, TX decided Tuesday not to raise $217 million to save the Astrodome, by turning it into a multipurpose convention center. The pricy plan involved creating 350,000 square feet by raising the floor to street level and removing the indoor seating, and creating a “New Dome Experience” as described by adding a green space on the outside and 400,000 square feet of plaza.
The Astrodome was once home to the Houston Astros and the Houston Oilers, and hosted many other concerts, among other events. It hasn’t hosted a sporting event since 1999, and hasn’t hosted for ANY event since 2009. The Astrodome was notably used in 2005 as a shelter for Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Beginning in September, many pro-Astrodome groups rigorously used social media and spoke at community meetings in hopes of turning the election in its favor. No groups are specifically against the proposition, but agree that the money to renew the Astrodome could be better used for other projects, or the space could be used for more parking for Reliant Park.
“I’m proud to support The New Dome PAC (Political Action Committee) and the effort to re-purpose the Astrodome, Houston’s 8th Wonder of the World. This plan will bring jobs, a positive economic impact and a renewed sense of pride in The Dome for all Houstonians. Join me and vote FOR Proposition 2 – The Dome is our history and our future.” stated Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston.
The cost even to demolish the dome is estimated over $29 million, possibly maxing out around $70 million. The dome, that previously hosted professional games, rodeos, and other events, now will likely be demolished.
Image (via) WikiCommons.