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