The New Astrodome, Ladies and Gentlemen
After today's Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation board meeting -- and pending acceptance from Harris County Commissioners Court -- the Reliant Astrodome will become a multipurpose spot with the potential for hosting concerts and, yes, football.
Now, don't get your hopes up too high. While the Astrodome's outer shell isn't going anywhere, the inside floor would be raised to street level to create a 300,000-square-foot performance area.
That means capacity will be severely decreased -- 5,500 for a hockey game, 5,000 for high-school basketball tournaments and 15,500 for football, which, for the circa 1996 Oilers, would have been a badass turnout.
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
If the $270.3 million project gets the thumbs-up by Harris County Commissioners Court, the HCSCC board hopes to get the proposed plan on the ballot for a public vote. If it passes, officials may try to lure the 2016 Final Four and the 2017 Super Bowl to the improved digs.
The master report also includes the demolition and replacement of Reliant Arena, which will cost an estimated $385.4 million.
The cost to taxpayers for the Astrodome overhaul and a new 10,000-seat Reliant Arena has been pegged at $523 million.
Obviously missing, to the chagrin of local television station cameramen -- who later looked dejected as they filed out of the Reliant Center meeting room -- was a grand unveiling of artist renderings. Aside from bar graphs and cost breakdowns, the only other visual was of bored HCSCC board members.
There had been talks by project consultants about massively renovating the Astrodome to include retail and art-centric outlets like museums. But during the firm's analysis, such amenities would have cost an additional $115 million to pull off.
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.