The Astrodome, which opened in April 1965 as an engineering marvel, hasn’t had a tenant since 2003 when the Houston Rodeo moved to a new stadium next door. (The Astros scooted away after the 1999 season).
Last year, Houston residents said they weren’t going to spring for a property tax increase that would have helped pay to turn the now-dilapidated dome into a spiffy, green convention center.
So Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Houston Texans, who also play at NRG Stadium, asked two firms to come up with some potential uses of the land.
One is a $66 million greenspace that, if they got started soon, could be ready in time for the 2017 Super Bowl.
The site would feature columns on which great moments or players or entertainers would be remembered.
“Although the option does include removal of the NRG Astrodome building itself, it pays homage to the history, heritage and culture of the Dome,” the rodeo said on its website. “The plan is constructed so that anyone who visits the space will have the ability to learn about the relevant events held in the Dome and about its unique history.”
Joe Stinebaker, a spokesperson for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, said this doesn’t mean the Astrodome is coming down any time soon.
“Anybody and their brother can make a proposal,” Stinebaker said. “This is not a county proposal. This is coming from tenant NRG Park. The county does not have a proposal pending nor is there a timetable.”
On Twitter, he said that only the commissioners will decide the fate of the first domed sports stadium in the world. And he said the judge doesn’t want the dome knocked down.