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No Dome action yet

It’s still there. Beyond that, nothing to report.

This would be cheaper to renovate

Harris County officials put off any final decision on the fate of the Astrodome on Tuesday, though the top executive suggested a new option for the deteriorating stadium.

County Judge Ed Emmett said during the capital projects meeting that commissioners will continue to review four options for the vacant facility outlined in a consultants’ report that was presented to the county’s sports and convention corporation last month.

The consultants recommended turning the stadium into a multipurpose facility at a cost of about $270 million. The consultants also pushed for a 10,000-seat arena to replace the small and seldom-used Reliant Arena, which is across a parking lot from the dome. That project would cost about $385 million.

Sports and convention corporation chairman Edgar Colon said “the door is open” for other options. Emmett asked Colon directly why the arena could not be incorporated into the actual dome.

“We have a lot of people who do want to keep the Astrodome,” Emmett said. “We have some people who want to tear down the Astrodome. But in replacing the arena, I think the question that everybody is going to have to answer, and clearly not this morning, is why would you tear down the Astrodome and then build something completely new, versus converting the Astrodome into the replacement of the arena.”

Colon said the option of building a new arena within the Astrodome would be explored. He estimated such a project would cost about $400 million, a number that is, in his words, “very preliminary.”

“We’re considering any and all ideas that people send us,” Colon said.

Colon told the commissioners that the second option is demolishing the dome and building an environmentally friendly outdoor plaza in its footprint, which is the cheapest consultant suggestion at about $65 million.

“We have received a lot of feedback, a lot of it very positive,” Colon said. “Good constructive criticism on how to improve the report.”

See here and here for some background on this latest What To Do With The Dome report. I still don’t think these guys have hit upon anything that is both fiscally and politically desirable. I predict the most likely outcome at this point is yet another What To Do With The Dome report in a year or two. Campos and Nancy Sims have more.

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3 Comments

  1. John says:

    how many $500K studies do they need to do? I think the only real solution is selling to some developer for $1. But the developer must commit x amount of dollars to their project and have a clawback provision of sorts. The benefit to this is the dome can become somewhat of a profitable asset generating property tax revenue and hopefully jobs etc from whatever business buys the property.

  2. [...] amenities, and no option to park for free on the street. Maybe it’s better now, and maybe the replacement facility that has been talked about as part of an Astrodome plan would be better – it could hardly be [...]

  3. [...] was that $270 million plan from last year to create a New Dome Experience, which did not get an endorsement from Judge Emmett and never went anywhere, in part due to concern that the economy wasn’t [...]

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