The Astrodome Will Live Another Year, If You Call What It's Doing Living
So another year's going to pass with nothing being done about the Astrodome. Another year where the citizens of Harris County will be paying three to four million dollars in maintenance fees for a place that's being so poorly maintained that it's not safe to enter and has just become a useless bulk blighting the skyline.
Will anybody competent ever decide anything about the Dome's future?
If you read the stories last week, the brunt of the blame seems to be on us, the citizens of Harris County, because we're too damn stupid to understand all of the factors involved with either tearing down the stadium or putting it through a huge, expensive renovation that will leave it as nothing better than an updated version of Reliant Arena, which will itself be getting a renovation to turn it into the poor man's version of Toyota Center.
Approving a bond measure requires voter approval. And according to the great minds running Commissioners Court, before there can be a bond vote, the voters have to be properly educated so they can know what they're getting into.
But as much as they want to blame us for being idiots who need to have our minds made up for us, perhaps the blame should instead be put on a group that can't make up its collective mind as to whether it wants to demolish the place, to renovate the place and which renovation plan to adopt. And all of the while this same brain trust keeps wasting millions on improperly maintaining the facility while continuing to pay off the massive Bud Adams-induced debt.
Instead, while the commissioners promise to put something up for a vote regarding the future of the Dome in November 2013, the debt service will still be paid, the maintenance will still be paid and oh, they're paying more consultants for more plans as to what to do.
Maybe there'll be another expensive plan for turning the place into a casino. Or another plan for making it a movie studio. Here's hoping we get another plan for turning the place into a hotel/entertainment center/indoor amusement park. Though nothing will ever top this year's plan to spend $270 million to turn the Dome into Reliant Arena while spending $385 million to turn Reliant Arena into a smaller Toyota Center.
And supposedly we're the idiots who are too stupid to vote on the outcome of the Dome without being properly educated. I think we've all been properly educated by now. But it really appears to be our so-called elected leaders who are too stupid to make a decision on what to do.
My issue's a simple one. I've got no real problem waiting until next year to finally make a decision on what to do with the Astrodome. My problem is that I don't trust the bozos in charge with actually coming up with a decision on what to do with the Astrodome.
There'll be more spent on studies. The studies will come up with another stupid solution that costs a ton of money. The costs of demolishing the Dome will continue to be far above what it cost to demolish other ballparks. The millions will continue to be wasted on the non-maintenance maintenance of the building, and the Bud Adams bond debt will continue to be paid. And then when a decision needs to be made on whether to put a plan on the ballot, the commissioners will once again decide that there's no plan they like and that we're too stupid to understand what's out there and the decision will be put off another year, and then the next year the same thing will happen, and again, and again, and again.
Before you know it, the Dome's still standing, but barely. And then Jim Crane's claiming that because Minute Maid Park is outdated and falling apart, unless he gets a new state-of-the-art ballpark that allows him to compete, he'll move the Astros to another city. And Les Alexander will be demanding a new basketball arena because Toyota Center's old and free agents don't want to play there, and Bob McNair's saying that he loves Houston but he'll have to move the Texans because he just can't compete in Reliant with its poor field and antiquated roof, but that if he gets a new stadium, maybe the NFL will give Houston another Super Bowl.
Stop paying consultants for stupid proposals. Stop wasting time. Stop worrying about the Rodeo bitching about whatever plan you choose. Just do something already. And stop saying you can't do anything because the voters aren't smart enough to understand whatever kind of scam it is you're cooking up. Let us vote already, and let's put the Dome out of that misery that you guys have caused.