The Astrodome: Crunch Time Is Coming (We Hope)
Empty for a long while.
It's been seven years since we wrote about the decrepit Astrodome, and how -- at that time -- it was all but abandoned, except for the occasional high school playoff game or, yes, bar mitzvah.
There will be another burst of discussion today about the Dome because, after a couple of surreptitious media break-ins, Reliant Park officials are giving reporters a tour of the long-closed facility. (We'll be there; look for our report later today.)
The Dome is likely even more gloomy than it was when we toured it for that story seven years ago, and the "plans" to renovate it are just as silly as they are now. Not silly in the sense of they wouldn't be great, although we still think the indoor ski slope is, well, funny.
But silly in the sense that in these tight times, it's hard to see the voters -- even those voters who profess endless love and nostalgia for the Dome -- agreeing to pay the bill needed to do the job.
KHOU has done a good, concise job of summarizing what's on the table at the moment.
The options range from $2 million a year for doing nothing at all to a half-billion for a tech center, planetarium, movie studio, etc., etc., etc.
The farther the Dome fades into active memories, the easier it becomes to let it go. We know Houston gets a bad rap for letting its history disappear, but these plans for the Dome have "white elephant" written all over them.
We'll be glad to be proven wrong, but we'd prefer to not be proven extremely expensively correct.