Swamplot will dig into some of the more entertaining and eye-opening details of the proposal later. But in the meantime, before folks go around shouting “heck, yeah!”, hyperventilating, or considering it all but a done deal, you might want to make note of a few circumstances surrounding the release of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and Houston Texans‘ 37-page illustrated guide to spending $66 million of somebody’s money to tear down the Astrodome and build a memorial park and “Hall of Fame” in its place.
The proposal was leaked to reporters yesterday — likely before the Rodeo and the Texans had planned, a source tells Swamplot. (A sample “huh?” slide from it is illustrated above.) Nevertheless, the release marks the latest evolution in the 2 organizations’ willingness to publicly acknowledge their (likely longstanding) role as the foremost opponents of preserving the Astrodome in any form. (Last year the Rodeo and the Texans released a cost estimate for turning the Dome into a parking lot.) Whether this is a concerted strategy in the organizations’ campaign to kill the Dome or a fumble, it does signal a possible risk for them: What would happen if the until-now-growing sense among many Houstonians that everything possible has been tried and somehow mysteriously “won’t work” (blow up the place already, I’m tired of hearing about it!) gave way to a realization that the same 2 parties may have, in fact, been responsible for bungling, blocking, discouraging, sabotaging, or outright vetoing every single proposal for saving or revamping the Astrodome over the last dozen years? Would it kill all the seeming public-sentiment victories they’ve achieved so far?
The Chronicle‘s Kiah Collier finds 2 county commissioners already declaring all-but-outright approval for the demolition plan, and a majority open to considering it — even though it hasn’t been formally proposed to them. But Judge Emmett is against it. “Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has been — and remains — opposed to any plans to demolish the Astrodome. Period,” his spokesperson tweeted yesterday. And the judge called the plan a “non-story” in an interview with Fox26.
But the plan does have one thing going for it: The Rodeo and the Texans will likely be willing to pay for some of it. “[Rodeo COO Leroy] Shafer and Texans President Jamey Rootes said they are open to helping foot the bill for the project, describing it as ‘affordable,’ but would not say how much they would contribute.”
- $66M plan would replace dome with green space [Houston Chronicle]
- Judge Emmett said latest plan for the Astrodome’s future is ‘a non-story‘ [MyFox Houston]