Astrodome’s Fate Hangs In Balance

April 30, 2012 by  

Houston’s iconic stadium, the Astrodome, faces an uncertain future as county commissioners meet to decide what hapens to it next.

Constructed nearly half a decade ago for $36m, the dome was a vital addition to a then booming city, and the publicity it earned helped to place Houston firmly on the map. However, the last crowd that the Astrodome played host to was the thousands displaced by the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Now, officials are to make a decision on what to do with it. The options under consideration are:

Pulling the Astrodome down and building a plaza on the site, at a cost of $124m,

Converting it to an all purpose facility for public use, which would cost $324m,

Have the dome renovated by a private concern, with an estimated cost of anywhere between $100m – $500m,

Do nothing to it besides provide the minimum of maintenance,

Whatever they decide to do, it’s likely that the county commission will involve the services of local print shops for a run of brochure printing which offers advice to residents who would be affected by their decision.

Mark Miller, the president of Reliant Park complex of which the dome is a part of, said:

“You’ve got a landmark versus what’s the practical use of the money, and I always equate it to, would you tear down the St. Louis Arch?”

Intriguingly, the Texas Historical Commission has concluded that the Astrodome is eligible for the status of a national landmark. However, this isn’t granted automatically – the county would have to submit a nomination.