What Do You Think About The Astrodome Proposed Plan?

Residents weigh in on the plan to save the Astrodome and possibly spend as much as $194 million dollars to turn the iconic landmark into a state-of-the-art conference and exposition center. One historian says to do anything less would not be right.

Talk to any Houstonian about memories of the Astrodome and you’ll more than likely get one, like this memory from Caraly Thompson:

“[My dad and I] went to a Miami Dolphins-Houston Oilers game where Earl Campbell scored like 5 touchdowns on Miami. I still remember that.”

Campbell, nicknamed the Tyler Rose, ran roughshod over the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

Debbie Harwell is managing editor of Houston History magazine. She credits then Harris County Judge Roy Hofheinz for transforming a patch of land on Kirby.

Debbie Harwell
Debbie Harwell is managing editor of Houston History magazine

“It was an architectural feat that has not been accomplished anywhere else prior to that time, and I think that the plan that they have outlined for the use of the Dome, is a really fitting tribute to the representation of the original structure — as a gateway to the rest of the Reliant Park area.”

She too, was glad that the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation recommended Wednesday that the Dome be renovated with public funds — not demolished.

“I’m really glad to see what they have in  store for the stadium.”

Hernandez: “Do you think that the $194 million dollars will be something that would make for an easy sell for the citizens?”

Harwell: “I can’t say that it would be an easy sell, but I think there are a lot people out there in our community that want to keep the Dome. They understand what it represents.”

Trish Clodney, another longtime Houstonian, also credits Judge Hofheinz.

“He was a very visionary person, and I’m all for something an enterprise that brings our community together, because Houston was just named the most diverse city in the country. And anything that we can do to reinforce that image I think is wonderful, not only to provide such a wonderful venue for people — it’ll be one of the places you take people to go when they visit.”

The plan to restore the Dome goes to Harris County commissioners next week. 

Trish Clodney
Houstonian Trish Clodney

Voters will probably, though not necessarily have the final say. Although it’s possible county officials will figure out a way to pay for the renovation without borrowing money, that’s not likely. So Harris County would probably have to float a bond issue, which would require approval from voters.