Friday, July 11, 2014

Astrodome will go away in plans by Rodeo, Texans

Without public release of the news, and still awaiting Harris County commissioners' seal of approval, RodeoHouston and the NFL's Texans want to do away with the Astrodome and replace it with green space and a shell of what it used to be (without a roof).

One rendering (with more to see when you click here):

At first blush, and even though this model greatly resembles my previous suggestions, I find myself still disappointed that the two tenants want to knock it down, fill up the hole, and build some Stonehenge-like image of the Dome in its place.  But if this is the preferred way the two wealthy benefactors of Harris County taxpayers' largesse can allow themselves to be inconvenienced to preserve anything of the old girl... so be it.  I suppose.

Wayne was first (in fact I saw his post before I read it in the paper).  Not many other initial reactions yet, but will update here as they come along.

What are your thoughts on this proposal?

Update: John Royal sounds a little bitter, but does note that...

County judge Ed Emmett told Mark Berman last night that the Rodeo/Texans plan was a non-story. 

And at that link, Emmett makes it plain that this isn't what commissioners want.

"I don't think so," Judge Emmett said. "If the decision were to be made to demolish the dome at some point in the future, we'd probably go out and get our own thoughts about how to do it and what to put up in its place.

"The dome belongs to the taxpayers of Harris County. It is paid off. The decision of what to do next is a decision to be made by Harris County Commissioners Court, four county commissioners and the county judge. Then if it involves a level of money that requires a bond, then we'd have to come back to the taxpayers and say 'do you approve this bond?'

"We tried that last fall. They did not approve it, 53-47(%). We're still waiting for better ideas to come forward."

Judge Emmett said converting the Astrodome into a useable facility should not be ruled out.

"I still think we need to find a way to repurpose the structure," said Judge Emmett. "It's the only structure in the world that has 350 thousand square feet of column-free space.

"The Livestock Show and Rodeo could use it. I've met with them. They said 'oh absolutely we could use it. Put all the food and kiddy rides and things like that in there.' The Offshore Technology Conference clearly could use it. They were way out of space this year.

"And the Texans, the fan experience before games, and if could get it done before the Super Bowl (in 2017), think about the week leading up the Super Bowl and the things you could do out there."

So Royal's bitterness is better understood in this context.

Don't blame the voters (last November) for not approving the use of taxpayer funds for a stupid plan that would've gutted the place. Blame those officials who put that idiotic plan up for a vote without pushing for realistic options. Blame the Rodeo and the Texans for vetoing anything that might make them share their valuable parking spaces. Blame Bud Adams, blame Drayton McLane.

The Dome has been doomed to death for a long time now. Maybe now it can be actually put out of its agony.

We get it.  They're all greedy, self-serving bastards.  The question remains: Now what?

Update: Swamplot breaks it down. And Culturemap Houston thinks it's a joke.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Sad reality here -- the building will cost more to rehab than would ever be recouped. There is no one who wants to pony up the cash for a convention center, a hotel, a museum, a casino, a movie theater, or anything else. Either we let it rot and collapse or we tear it down and make use of the space. This plan seems like a fitting one.