Let's see if I've got this: The Confederacy of Dunces charged with making decisions on the Astrodome are once again acting like they want to make decisions on the Astrodome. Decisions that will involve them punting the ultimate decision to a higher authority that has, time and again, punted the decision on what to do with the Astrodome.
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation is calling for its staff to collect ideas -- as if they don't have enough -- for what to do with the Dome by June 10 of this year so that the Corp can make some half-assed analysis before making a recommendation to the Harris County Commissioners Court on June 25.
There have been tons of ideas tossed out over the years. All of which, at the behest of the Rodeo and the Texans, have been vetoed. But in hopes of scamming a few million taxpayer dollars in consulting fees, I thought I would suggest a few ideas of my own regarding the Dome's future.
5. NEW HEADQUARTERS OF CSN HOUSTON
It seems only fitting that a sports network partly owned by a baseball team that nobody wants to watch be housed in the facility abandoned by that same awful baseball team. CSN will have lots of rooms for studios and edit suites, putting together programming that nobody can watch. There will also be lots and lots of room for executive offices so that the same masterminds behind the increasingly desperate iwantCSNHouston.com plan can come up with some more failed ideas that will continue to prevent the network from being available to most of the city and county.
4. LUXURY SUITES, NOTHING BUT LUXURY SUITES
Everybody knows that the people who actually use the suites at the area's various thousands of sports facilities don't actually go to watch the games. Yet because of all of these luxury suites, people who actually want to watch the games have to sit in awful seats where they have difficulty seeing the games. So let's turn the Dome into nothing but luxury suites fitted with bars, restaurants, attractive waitstaff, expensive food and huge HD TVs.
The people in the suites can then do what they do, which is everything but actually watch the game. And the people who actually want to go to the games and actually watch the events on the field can actually get some nice seats and watch the games.
3. RETURN TO ITS GLORY AS A SPORTS FACILITY
Taxpayers have spent millions of dollars to build a baseball stadium, a football stadium and a basketball arena that all stand dark and empty for the majority of the year while the team owners rake in millions of dollars of profit. So let's make it real simple. Let's renovate the Astrodome and turn it back into the pre-eminent sports facility that it once was. And let's move the cult of Joel Osteen to Toyota Center and turn the Summit back into the great sports and concert facility that it was.
Neither the Dome nor the Summit would be empty for long stretches of time, and the rent on the facilities would generate lots and lots of dollars for the city and county. Les Alexander and Jim Crane would still make tons of cash off the TV network that no one can watch, and if Bob McNair can't make money off of the NFL, even playing inside the Dome, then he doesn't deserve to own a football team. And Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium would be turned into two very useful facilities: parking garages.
2. TURN DOME INTO A PARKING GARAGE
Parking around the Reliant complex is a joke, especially if you're stuck having to park off of Fannin. But why destroy the Dome to provide new parking? Why not keep the shell and turn the interior into a parking garage?
1. BRING AN END TO THE HARRIS COUNTRY SPORTS & CONVENTION CORPORATION
Why is this organization still around? Wasn't it birthed for the purpose of building sports palaces for every damn major league sports franchise in this city? The Texans have their palace. The Astros have theirs. The Rockets have a place they don't want to share with anybody else. And the Dynamo have a nice new place, too. So why is this thing still around? What purpose does it still serve?
So there you have it, staff of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation. I'm more than willing to take a few million dollars to expand on any (or all) of these ideas for you. Just give me a call, and let's make a deal. And hey, I'm not greedy, I'll be more than willing to share some of the millions of dollars with you.