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Posts Tagged ‘Astrodome’

Astrodome: Deep Space Nine

This is now my favorite idea for What To Do With The Dome. Right now the folks in Houston are trying to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, which has been sitting vacant for several years. Many plans for the dome have fallen by the wayside, including this multi-use approach which I really like. I’m […]

The historic Astrodome

Not sure what effect this will have. The National Park Service has added the Astrodome, the world’s first domed stadium, to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for tax breaks to aid in its rehabilitation but offering no real protection from the wrecking ball. Historical preservationists, who successfully pushed for the Dome’s […]

Saving Rice Stadium

Houston has another historic stadium in it that’s seen better days, but this one is still in use and has some hope of being restored to its former glory. As a place to watch a game, there are few better than Rice Stadium, thrown up almost overnight between the 1949 and 1950 seasons. But it […]

The Dome’s status is complicated

Is it a landmark or not? If so, what kind? Mayor Annise Parker this week called an effort by the city historical commission to designate the Harris County-owned Astrodome a city landmark “ill-advised,” and said she had no plans to put the item before City Council for approval. The Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission on […]

Back to private investors for the Dome

Sure, why not? Commissioner El Franco Lee, whose Precinct 1 is home to the county-owned Dome, said Commissioners Court is “not under any time constraint” in deciding what to do with the vacant stadium. “The only constraint we’re under is spending any public money,” Lee said. [...] Lee noted that about $8 million worth of […]

Where the early vote was

As you know, I thought that the high turnout we were seeing in Early Voting for this past election was not so much an indicator of high turnout but of a shift in voting behavior similar to what we had seen in even-year elections. That prediction was incorrect – final turnout was higher than I […]

Not in a rush about the Dome after all

We’ll get to deciding what to do with the Dome when we get to it. Harris County leaders are in no rush to decide what to do with the Astrodome, leaving the empty and decaying stadium to languish further following last week’s voter rejection of a $217 million plan to convert the iconic stadium to […]

Precinct analysis: The Dome and the jail

Now that precinct data is out, the Chron has an updated take on what sunk the Astrodome referendum. Overall, 53.4 percent of Harris County voters rejected the bond issue that would have renovated the long-vacant Dome into a convention and exhibit space. In Houston, 50.1 percent of the voters turned it down, while in unincorporated […]

A lot of people wanted a piece of the Dome

Unfortunately, most came away empty-handed. Wearing a floppy orange hat and an Astros baseball shirt, Dene Hofheinz grabbed a front-row seat for Saturday’s auction of iconic items from the domed stadium her father built more than four decades ago. She joined thousands of others who waited for hours in long lines to get a piece […]

Theories abound about why the Dome referendum failed

I have three things to say about this. University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said the outcome of both county bond propositions, as well as the Katy stadium, is indicative of resistance among conservative voters to big-ticket spending items they believe are not necessary, or, in the case of the Dome, that could be […]

So what happens now with the Dome?

It’s mostly dead, but I suppose it’s not all dead just yet. The board of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., the county agency that runs Reliant Park, passed a resolution in April saying that if a vote were to fail, the agency would ask Harris County Commissioners Court to allow it to “prepare […]

Election results: Harris County

The big story: RIP, Astrodome. A $217 million bond measure to fund a massive Astrodome renovation failed by several percentage points, a decision expected to doom it to the wrecking ball. Proposition 2 would have allowed Harris County to issue up to $217 million in bonds to turn the beloved but bedraggled stadium into a […]

On the uses of the New Dome

So it’s looking pretty good for the Astrodome renovation referendum. But what exactly will we get if it does pass? In particular, will the New Dome be economically sustainable in a way that the current one is not? To date, Harris County and Reliant Park officials have offered little more than verbal assurances the New […]

Want to buy a piece of the Dome?

Now’s your chance, but act fast. Five hundred pairs of upper-deck “rainbow gut” seats and old Astrodome space helmets worn by the grounds crew nearly 50 years ago are among the items up for grabs Saturday during a sale and auction at Reliant Center. Larger Dome items, like turnstiles and dugout benches, are headed for […]

First day EV totals

It was pretty brisk, with higher turnout than any of the previous three elections. Here are the relevant daily totals: 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here are the numbers for each for day one: Year In person By Mail Total ================================= 2013 5,025 8,560 13,585 2011 2,557 2,079 4,636 2009 4,089 2,073 6,162 2007 1,681 […]

RIP, Bum Phillips

A sad day in Houston. Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr., who spent half his adult life as a football coach and every waking moment as the personification of all things Texan, died Friday at his ranch in Goliad. Phillips was three weeks past his 90th birthday and more than three decades removed from his heyday […]

Where things stand going into early voting

A few impressions of the state of the races as we head into early voting. Mayor – The thing that I will be looking for as initial results get posted at 7 PM on November 5 is how the gaggle of non-competitive candidates is doing. The thing about having nine candidates in a race, even […]

Endorsement watch: Saving the Dome

The Chronicle gives its blessing to the Astrodome renovation referendum. There has been a lot of finger-pointing over the Astrodome’s mismanagement, but come Election Day it only matters that voters point their fingers to the ballot button and approve the $217 million bond initiative to save the Dome. [...] The eyes of the nation are […]

Dome poll

In addition to their poll of the Mayor’s race, KHOU and KUHF also polled about the Astrodome referendum. These results are a bit harder to read. The fate of the Astrodome rests with voters who’ll decide whether Harris County should borrow $217-million to convert the dormant building into a multi-purpose event center for everything from […]

Here comes the Dome renovation committee

I was wondering when we’d see this. Reliant Park and Harris County officials on Thursday announced the launch of a campaign to garner voter support for a plan to redevelop the Astrodome, with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Precinct 1 Commissioner El Franco Lee each pledging $5,000 to the effort. A referendum to fund […]

Early to Rise appeal denied

That pretty much wraps it up, for now at least. A controversial 1-cent property tax to buoy local preschools will not be on the November ballot following a Houston appeals court ruling. The 14th Court of Appeals, in an opinion issued late Thursday, rejected the Harris County School Readiness Corp.’s lawsuit to force County Judge […]

Who’s advocating for the Dome?

Some old familiar names are getting back in the game. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday after the Commissioners Court meeting name-dropped two former county judges — Jon Lindsay and Robert Eckels — who will lead the charge on a campaign to garner support for an Astrodome renovation project. A $217 million bond referendum […]

Hoteliers for the Dome plan

Count the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston among the supporters of the Astrodome renovation plan. Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. Chairman Edgar Colón, with back-up from Deputy Executive Director Kevin Hoffman, presented the agency’s vision for revamping the half-century-old structure into “The New Dome Experience,” a 350,000 square-foot, street-level space they and […]

Astrodome referendum officially on the ballot

It’s been a long, strange trip, but at last you will get to vote on the fate of the Astrodome. The Commissioners Court on Tuesday unanimously voted to place a bond election for up to $217 million to convert the iconic stadium into a massive, street-level convention hall and exhibit space, saying residents should take […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Early To Rise

Technically, this isn’t an endorsement, since there isn’t anything to endorse just yet. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Chron supports the Early To Rise campaign. It looks like Harris County will vote on the future of the Astrodome this November. If we can get $200 million on the ballot for a convention center, we […]

Astrodome referendum headed for the ballot

If you’ve been waiting for the chance to vote on the fate of the Astrodome, your wait will soon be over. Commissioners Court next Tuesday is expected to approve a measure asking voters to authorize the county to spend as much as $220 million to transform the vacant stadium, County Budget Chief Bill Jackson said […]

Waiting to hear about New Dome financing

Just a reminder that the process is still in progress. Two weeks ago, the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation presented its vision for a 194 million dollar project dubbed THE NEW DOME EXPERIENCE. It included turning the inside into a multi-purpose facility that could be used for a variety of events. The exterior will […]

Here come the hotels

Lots of downtown hotel construction going on, or about to go on. The area around the George R. Brown Convention Center is about to see a burst of hotel construction as developers plan several new projects, two of which will offer more moderately priced rooms. The new projects are planned for sites just outside the […]

Commissioners Court approves HCSCC Astrodome plan for further review

I noted this briefly in an update to my interview with Willie Loston, but on Tuesday Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the proposal by the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation to redevelop the Astrodome for further study. Commissioners did not comment on the proposal before or after the vote, but County Judge Ed […]

Interview with Willie Loston

Willie Loston is the Executive Director of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, which is the not-for-profit company that operates and maintains the public facilities at Reliant Park, including Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome. It was the HCSCC that called for and evaluated the private proposals for the Astrodome, and the HCSCC that ultimately […]

More on the rejected Dome ideas

The Chron pays some attention to the 19 ideas that were submitted to the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation for what to do with the Astrodome. Willie Loston, executive director of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., said much of the plan it outlined features ideas and suggestions from 19 proposals it got […]

More on the New Dome Experience

The Chron’s subscription site story adds some more details to the news about the New Dome Experience. [Harris County Judge Ed] Emmett said that if the court signs off on the plan next week, it likely would ask the county budget office to look for alternative ways to pay the $194 million tab, which includes […]

The New Dome Experience

Behold: If the future of the Astrodome has been keeping you up at night, you’ll rest easy knowing that a major step was taken in favor of preservation at a board meeting on Wednesday afternoon: The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation (HCSCC) board unanimously agreed on a recommendation to repurpose the Houston landmark. Willie […]

So many Dome ideas

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation has plenty of material to work with as it prepares to make a recommendation to Commissioners Court about the Astrodome. Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. staff will spend the next week evaluating 19 plans for redeveloping the Astro­dome and putting the finishing touches on the agency’s own […]