Harris County Commissioners Court Pushes the Astrodome Plan on Down the Line

Categories: Spaced City

This will be the end result of the New Dome Experience, if the plan gets approved.
There was a full house at the Harris County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday morning. Seriously, people were packed into the room like so many sardines in a can all to see what will be the next step in plans to repurpose the Astrodome.

County Judge Ed Emmett noted wryly that anyone expecting a commissioners court vote on the actual proposed plan for the Astrodome was in for a disappointment.

"Just in case any of you are expecting a vote up or down, that's not going to happen today," Emmett said, glancing out at the audience.

Before hearing about the New Dome Experience plan recommended to the court by the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, there were opportunities for people to address the court.

The speakers basically were either proposing a couple of their own ideas for the Dome - dropping the ceiling down to save on air conditioning costs and something about bringing the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame to the Dome - and then there were advocates from Astrodome Tomorrow, a group that has been pushing to save the historic structure. (One speaker noted that they'll start working on getting the money together to power-wash the Dome now that it looks like it won't be torn down or turned into a parking lot.)

As the speakers, each given three minutes to address the court, finished up Pct. 3 County Commissioner Steve Radack asked if there were any representatives from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

"They want it torn down, don't they?" he asked.

But there weren't any to be had, and the court moved on.

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Cynthia Neely

3 mins ago

Why is it that no one finds it questionable that the same people who neglected the Astrodome to the point it is unusable are now reliable to recommend and supervise its $194 million remodel? The Sports Corp was created to be stewards of the “Astrodomain” and failed miserably! First, Drayton McLane was paid $18+million to buy out what was left on his lease on the Dome when he moved out his Astros then it went downhill after that. Nothing to show for that $18 million. A fully operational facility went to hell under their care and now taxpayers are supposed trust them with MORE money and MORE authority and MORE decision-making? This is madness. What company in the world would keep its executives that allowed their biggest asset to fall into ruin? It is also suspect that until two taxpayers, myself and Ted Powell, announced we had filed a nomination for historical status for the Astrodome, that suddenly Judge Emmett and the Sports Corp are now endorsing preservation. They could have filed with the Texas Historical Commission years and years ago and used Federal funds and all kinds of grants to restore the building, as Mr Powell and I pointed out at Commissioners Court. Brownfields money is also available. I have personally met with their representative. If the Sports Corp had kept the building up, as was their duty, it would still be bringing in revenue and probably functioning as a convention center etc as they are NOW proposing. Really! Why haven’t these geniuses proposed all this before? Why are taxpayers, who own the Dome, allowing them to continue to have anythng further to do with the historic building they have destroyed by neglect?


The Budget Office does not tell Harris County Commissioners how much anything will cost. The Commissioners decide what they are going to spend, or buy off on someone else's estimate. The job of the Budget Office is to come up with enough MBA-speak to make their decision look completely rational and justified. Once you understand this, Harris County budgeting becomes much easier to understand.

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