There’s going to be another Astrodome memorabilia sale in the near future.
The Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. is considering selling more seats out of the Astrodome after raking in $1.5 million late last year during two online auctions and a walk-up “yard sale” at NRG Center where thousands of nostalgic fans waited hours in line to buy seats, swatches of Astroturf and a slew of other memorabilia salvaged from the world’s first domed sports stadium.
Net proceeds from the sales in November and December totaled nearly $650,000, meaning they cost almost as much to put on as they brought in. County officials, however, said the haul far exceeded their expectations.
“We were just hoping for it to be able to pay for itself, but it did much more,” said Kevin Hoffman, deputy executive director of the sports corporation, the county agency that runs NRG Park, the South Loop sports complex where the dome is located.
Hoffman said the sports corporation now is considering having at least one more sale of Dome seats, but is not sure it will be allowed by the state historical commission, which last month postponed its vote on whether to make the 49-year-old stadium a protected landmark while the county continues searching for a private company or coalition to redevelop it.
Under state law, the owner of a building under consideration for so-called “state antiquities landmark” status cannot make significant alterations to the structure during the application process, or after designation, without permission from the commission.
Since the seats have already been removed and are sitting in storage I’m not sure what the problem with selling them might be, but I suppose we have to let the process work. The first memorabilia sale was a big success despite some major logistical issues. This story says there were 7,000 pairs of seats sold in the first event, which presumably includes the online auction, though the stories at the time indicated it was 2,400 pairs. I’m not sure what accounts for the discrepancy – perhaps it’s just that they’ve continued to sell more seats online – but in any event there are another 4,000 pairs left. Funds from that sale went to cleanup efforts after partial demolition of walkway towers and ticket booths, and funds from this next one would be used for maintenance and upkeep. I’ll keep my eye out for further updates on this.