Bid to Renovate Astrodome Fails
Harris County voters rejected a $217 million plan to renovate the aged Astrodome into a convention center, a step that might lead to transforming the "Eighth Wonder of the World" into a parking lot.
With two-thirds of 1,064 precincts counted, 53 percent of the voters opposed the project. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett conceded defeat on the referendum about 9:35 p.m.
The proposal would have transformed the lower levels of the rotting Dome into a multipurpose facility that would host trade shows, conventions and concerts.
Supporters cited "years of carefully reviewing numerous proposals"; those proposals have included transforming the edifice into a movie studio or filling it with an indoor ski slope and/or kayaking river, not to mention a lazier river for guests of a hotel that would have been build inside.
Supporters said the annual tax bill for a $200,000 home with a 20 percent homestead exemption would increase by $8 because of the project.
Some opponents didn't like the specifics of the proposed plan; others balked at the county spending money on what they considered a longshot to succeed financially in the future.
Houstonians have long professed a love for the Astrodome, but even this awesome song could not bring about victory.
Send your story tips to the author, Richard Connelly.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- Texas Finally Pledges to End Prison Rape
- Astros, Keuchel Shut Out Yankees 3-0, Advance to ALDS Against Royals
- HPD Presented Its Body Camera Policy to Council Yesterday, and It Was a Mess