Stay of Execution

County Sports and Convention Group Recommends Renovation, Not Demolition, of the Astrodome.

The announcement finished up with a lot of smiling and handshaking before everyone began trickling out of the grotto-like cool of Reliant Stadium to make the trek through the heat to their cars.

Antonia Spiller stood outside in her neon-green shirt in front of the west entrance of the Astrodome, directing traffic out of the complex. She swiped a hand across her forehead, wiping away beads of sweat.

"They aren't going to tear it down? Well, that's a blessing," she said, smiling and turning around to look at the Astrodome, which looked tired and old, a far cry from the gleaming newborn creation it was when it opened on April 9, 1965, and the Astros played the Yankees and Mickey Mantle got the first hit and the first home run in the building's history.

The once and future Astrodome.
Renderings courtesy Harris County Sports & Convention Corp.
The once and future Astrodome.
What's ahead: a total facelift and grand prix racing.
What's ahead: a total facelift and grand prix racing.

"That's really nice it won't be torn down," she said.

Yes, the Astrodome looked tired, but weirdly triumphant. The way Houston's best-known landmark might look when it knows in its bones that it won't be torn down or become a place to park SUVs.

Now it's all about what the Harris County Commissioners Court thinks.

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Since we are talking of things being torn down, What is going on with the space to the south of the Dome that use to be Astroworld? I have moved from Houston maybe three years ago and have not heard a thing of what is going on there. Was young and loved Astroworld, saw my first concert there. And spent many a summer there staying cool.


Stunning that after letting the Astrodome fall into ruin, the same people are being trusted to decide ANYTHING at all. It is time for term limits for County Commission posts. That's where the buck stops. Judge Emmett has had, what, seven years to oversee and correct this mismanagement of the county's greatest asset? Taxpayers should not be blinded by the pretty pictures of a new and improved Dome. There are more cost effective ways to save our beloved building without the county picking our pockets. Letting the same people recommend what to do and how to spend our money is plain stupid. The definition of stupid, you know, is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results.

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