Houston, TX (Sports Network) - After years spent languishing, the so-called
"Eighth Wonder of the World" got a reprieve on Wednesday.
The Astrodome, which was largely rendered obsolete in the last decade as
football and baseball migrated to newer venues, will not be torn down.
Instead, according to the Chronicle, Harris County Sports and Convention
Corporation will recommend converting the massive indoor venue into a massive
indoor exhibition space.
A proposal, costing $194 million, will go in front of Harris County
Commissioners Court on June 25. The plan, created by the HCSCC, entails
removing all seating and filling in the below-ground playing surface in order
to create 355,000 square feet of open space.
This new effort to keep the edifice standing came as a result of the failure
of 19 privately-submitted ideas to gain any traction or harmony regarding
lease agreements with the Houston Texans, the annual livestock show or the
master plan for the Reliant Park complex, of which the Astrodome is part.
The first purpose-built indoor sports venue in the United States, the
Astrodome opened with much fanfare for the 1965 Astros season. It hosted the
club until 1999, and also housed the Houston Oilers until their departure
following the 1996 campaign and the Houston Cougars until the following year.
It has fallen into disrepair since, but was used to hold evacuees from
Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The Sports Network