The New Dome Experience Makes the New Coke Experience Look Well-Planned

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Wait, I thought this taxpayer-funded boondoggle was supposed to be Houston's convention/exhibition center.
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation has spoken, and like much everything else that it has done during its existence, its great plan to save the Astrodome is a massive fail. A massive fail that, if actually put on the ballot and supported by voters, will end up costing $194 million.

The corporation unveiled its grand plan on Wednesday, and in doing so, stated that no qualified private plans had been submitted, so it had to cobble together its own proposal. A plan that essentially repeated warmed-over plans that the Corporation had tried to pass off on suckers in the past. The difference being that this time, the cost was an outrageous $194 million that, somehow, the public will be forced to fund.

Amazingly, there are sheep out there who not only think that this is a good plan, but that the costs are reasonable and doable. Those costs will be doable, of course, because taxpayers would be paying for it.

But being a doable plan doesn't make it a good plan. Creating more convention and exhibition space that will only be used during the Rodeo, the Offshore Technology Conference and the occasional Super Bowl at a cost of $194 million isn't reasonable or doable. It's idiotic. It's moronic. It's the work of imbeciles who, over past years, have also offered up proposals for turning the place into an aquarium, a movie studio, a hotel and a theme park, to name just a few ideas.

The plan's also the work of the fine folks with the Texans and the Rodeo, those nice people who have vetoed just about every reasonable and doable plan for the Dome. And who made sure poison pill provisions were included that essentially make the Dome worthless to anybody who hopes to make money off of it. Those poison pill provisions being found in a 2001 agreement in which the Texans and the Rodeo are protected against any possible harm to their revenue streams. The provisions also guarantee the Texans exclusive access to all Reliant parking spaces on game days and give the Rodeo exclusive access to the facility for three weeks during the rodeo.

But this corporation plan gets the backing of the Rodeo because it resembles one they helped to craft last year. So while this $194 million plan would be funded by taxpayers who would get virtually no use out of it, the Rodeo would once again get to dictate the use of a building that would be essentially useless for 49 weeks a year because the Rodeo poison pill provisions make the use of the Dome worthless to just about any commercial entity unless those massive hotels or amusement parks or aquariums want to shut down during spring break and on Sundays.

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24 comments
curaecivem
curaecivem

With no demonstrated track record or skill to go after any real news, and with no significant history of   it's own  in  Houston's 4th estate,   the young, brash ill-informed HP, as they so predictably do, announce their rebelliousness for anyone to hear like some angry teenager screaming out his bedroom window, defying the world,  shaking his fist at authority. They cite "facts" that are laughable. With scarcely two decades of reporting, how can they possibly understand the Dome as a unique Houstonian cultural artifact?  They see only the price tag of preservation, as if it were some overpriced flea market watch.  How then can they be expected to understand the pricelessness of preserving it? That would require a maturity they are yet too juvenile  to possess.    

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

John Royal:  You're not from Houston, are you?  It will cost 100 million just to tear it down, with nothing to show for it but 2,600 more parking spots?  When Astroworld space complete with an already made bridge is available?  Sorry to shit on your shitfest, but I'm sick of new transients coming in and blowing up everything here.  We already lost the Shamrock.  We don't need to lose the dome.


As to the 194M?  It ain't coming out of your pocket, so kindly shut the F*** up.

AnalHerpes
AnalHerpes

Great article -- Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation just boned us again and are thumbing their nose to us and laughing.

Diane Duffy Robinson
Diane Duffy Robinson

I do not live in Houston and I find this to be a horrible plan. Once again the residents & taxpayers of the city are being expected to foot the bill for the benefit of corporations. They want it ...let those entities pay for it. This is a must read article !!!

Jana Trovato
Jana Trovato

I want to see Houston save the Astrodome. But, they need to make it a useful building again. Indoor amusement park? Houston tears everything down and all the history just gets bull-dozed. Please don't do this to this architecture wonder.

AtaboyLuther
AtaboyLuther

Knock it down and construct a multi-level parking facility.  There will be room left over for green space.

cepage
cepage

This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. I have submitted a plan that will only cost $45 million. We tear down the Dome, and erect a 2,750 foot high version of the Beer Can House.

It will be the tallest building on the planet, thus restoring its status as a true architectural wonder. It will exemplify the dignity and culture of our city, and offers clear sponsorship opportunities that can further reduce the cost.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Actually, it would be coming out of every tax payer's pocket. Unless you want to write the check? And no, it won't cost $100m to demolish the dome. The highest estimate I've read is $25m, which is about 10 year's up-keep fees. And since it seems necessary for your little argument, I was born at Jeff Davis Hospital and grew up in Eastwood. That native enough for you, Skippy?

jwroyal
jwroyal

I'm a native. You would probably know that if you had read some of the past things I've written.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

As long as NASA is paying for it, sure.

Glenn
Glenn

@Diane Duffy Robinson 

You don't live here?? Then butt out!

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

And it will pay for itself in parking fees. Good plan.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@jwroyal Then why would you ever think that tearing this down for unneeded parking is a good idea?  It was built in 1965, so it's at that weird phase where people forget its marvel and see it as an eyesore.  Folks 2-3 generations from now will recognize it as a beautiful  building and a phenomenal engineering success, much like the Brooklyn Bridge.  Remember that Houston destroyed dozens of classic buildings years ago because they were considered outdated.  How'd that turn out for us?

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Um, the Feds don't "live here," either but I'd really like them to take a look at the HCSCC's books.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@MadMac Reading comprehension is obviously not something you excel at.  It states why the Astrodome would be far more expensive.  Now, you could argue that figure seems high, but you stated the highest figure you had seen was $25 million.  (never mind this article right here said $29....)  I tend to mock this type of behavior, which is why you received the comment I presented.  If you feel the need to keep digging yourself into a deeper hole, be my guest.  And the Skippy thing?  lol. 

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Research? Try reading--from your own article! "Experts quoted in the article are dubious, however," and "The priciest stadium demolition a Houston Chronicle examination found was $22 million for New York’s Yankee Stadium."

Meanwhile, no one in the article listed their city of birth, Skippy.

zlilgrnbrd
zlilgrnbrd

If you read the whole article, you'll see that @jwroyal wants to save the Dome just like you do, just not with the proposed plan.

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