What Will Happen to the Astrodome? We’ll Know Soon
At long last, it appears we may know soon what will happen to the world's first indoor sports stadium, which was once known as The Eighth Wonder of the World.
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. has hired a Dallas consulting firm to come up with what will be the final recommendations on the future of the Astrodome, and they want the recommendations in hand by the end of the year.
Harris County is trying to decide whether to tear down the Dome or refit it and convert it into something other than a sports complex. There were plans to turn it into a giant hotel but that fell through because it would have cost a fortune.
Some of the other ideas that have been tossed around include demolishing it and replacing it with a green space plaza; or keeping the outer shell and converting the interior into a multi-use venue.
Others have suggested creating a "one of a kind mega-venue," with a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Institute, a planetarium and other enhancements.
All those ideas fell off the table when it was learned that it would cost more than billion dollars to do any of them. Even tearing the Dome down and replacing it with an outdoor plaza would cost nearly $100 million dollars.
Harris County has to do something with the Astrodome because it's been vacant and practically unused for ten years since neighboring Reliant Stadium opened in 2002.
It's generating zero revenue, but it's costing taxpayers four and a half million dollars a year just to maintain it and pay the debt service.
Yes. They're still paying off the bonds that were sold to build it in the 1960s and upgrade it in the 1990s.