At Last! A Stable Future for the Astrodome

Stalls at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

For four years, the fate of the Astrodome has been chained to the proposals of a single company. Those proposals at first went in all sorts of different directions but lately have seemed to be going nowhere. And now, finally, the stewards of the Astrodome’s future have declared that Astrodome Redevelopment’s exclusive right to redevelop the Houston landmark will be coming to an end.

That’s great news, because all that exclusivity and secrecy and incompetence has overshadowed one of the best ideas ever suggested for reusing the Dome — which today can finally be revealed: Let’s turn the Astrodome into . . . horse stables!

Astroturf and tiered stadium seats would give way to more than 1,000 horse stalls and an arena with a capacity of at least 6,000. The vast open area where former Astros stars Jimmy Wynn and Jeff Bagwell hit towering drives would be turned into a three-story exhibition and stalling space, Shafer said.

Isn’t doing time as a livestock storage center the hallmark of a historically significant building? And it will make the next renovation so much more dramatic: “Can you believe it? Before they restored it, they used this thing for horse stables!”

After the jump, some reasons why this plan might have legs.


The proposal hasn’t been formally announced yet, but it’s coming from Houston’s equine experts: The Livestock Show and Rodeo, which is looking for a replacement for the Reliant Arena:

“The rodeo has a record of paying for our facilities and partnering with Harris County,” [Rodeo COO Leroy] Shafer said. “Sure, we can come to the table and help finance it.”

Photo: Flickr user laanba