Deadline Arrives For Proposals On What To Do With The Astrodome

Midnight was the deadline for private interests with viable funding sources to submit plans for the empty Houston Astrodome. The Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation will submit an idea of its own next week. Harris County lawmakers are expected to consider all the plans at the end of June.

The Astrodome was the world’s first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium when it opened in 1965. Nearly 50 years later, the fate of the facility, once known as the 8th wonder of the world, will soon be decided.

Edgar Colon, chairman of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, says they’ve received a handful of interesting proposals.

“At this time we have received five or six, and I would expect maybe three or four others from our knowledge of other people that have expressed interest.” 

Colon was named chairman of the Corporation a year before the City of Houston deemed the facility unfit to occupy, but it is structurally sound. 

“We are evaluating the proposals against a criteria that we have set, that we have expressed to the people who have shown interest.”

Hernandez: “Are you of the opinion that preserving what was once known as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’ is part of that big vision for Reliant?”

Colon: “My preference would be to save the structure yes, and that is why we have spent a lot of time and effort trying to come up with ideas on our own, and then to evaluate the ideas that come. So yes, my preference would be to save the structure.”

Ideas have run the gamut from promising to you gotta be kidding.

“It is not that we’re short of ideas, it is how financially viable is the group? How financially viable is the project? How does it fit with the current rights of the tenants, and how does it fit within the master plan? That is where they have to show that it is a good plan.”

The Corporation will reveal it’s own plan for the Dome next week, and will present it to Harris County Commissioners. Colon says residents could still determine the outcome.

“If a private entity came up and said that they had all the money in the world to do the financing themselves then obviously it may not go to th voters. But if it would require some type of financing structure that may require the vote of the people from Harris County.”

That big question would appear on the ballot within the next couple of years.

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