When It Comes to the Astrodome, Ed Emmett Thinks That You're an Idiot

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett thinks that you are an idiot. Not that he's actually said that, but seeing as how he's pushing another renovation plan for the Astrodome, one that currently involves no private financing and costs $243 million, what Emmett thinks of the citizens of Harris County is pretty obvious.

The current plan is, as my colleague Jeff Balke said last week, nothing more than a warmed-over rehash of other plans that have been rejected by the county. It's going to be part indoor park, part meeting space for the Offshore Technology Conference, and a pre-game/pre-rodeo spot for the Texans and the Rodeo. There will even be a history museum. And to make the Texans and the Rodeo happy, there will be underground parking, which they can use to gouge event patrons out of even more money.

There is as yet no official plan to put before the voters, and while Commissioners Court has accepted the Urban Land Institute plan that Emmett is shopping, there's been no word as to when the Court will decide what action to take with that current proposal.

Here's the thing: The people of Harris County voted on a Dome renovation project several years ago. That plan would have turned the facility into space for the Offshore Technology Conference while providing event space for the Rodeo and the Texans. There would have been green space added outside the Dome. It would have cost $210 million. The voters rejected this referendum.

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal