Judge Emmett Not Impressed by Texans, Rodeo Plan To Demolish the Astrodome

JUDGE EMMETT NOT IMPRESSED BY TEXANS, RODEO PLAN TO DEMOLISH THE ASTRODOME A study paid for by the Houston Texans and the Livestock Show and Rodeo has determined that tearing down the Astrodome will cost a hair more than $29 million, reports Fox 26, but Harris County judge Ed Emmett doesn’t seem all that moved by the study’s finding: “Unless there’s something there I didn’t see when it came across my desk, all I saw were two or three options for how to demolish it and turn it into a parking lot. I know that’s their position. I’m not denigrating it, but that doesn’t really move the ball anywhere.” And what’s Emmett going to do with the study? “Read it and put it on a shelf. . . . It’s not meaningful at all.” [Fox 26; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia

41 Comment

  • Years ago my husband was @ some Chamber of Commerce meeting and the Astrodome was discussed (as it ALWAYS is). The speaker indicated he didn’t think the demolition of the Astrodome was viable because of how it was built. Incredibly heavy use of concrete that would make it difficult to demolish.

  • needs to be a mini storage. Leave the dome alone

  • It may not be cost-efficient to do so, but it’s viable in terms of being able to be done. The structure does not exist which sufficient and judicious application of explosives can not bring down.

    If it’s such sturdy stuff, I wonder whether anyone’s considered bridging the gap between keeping the structure and wanting a parking lot, and turning it into the world’s most recognizable multi-level parking structure? Reserved parking on the 50 yard line!

  • Needs to be a statue of him in front if/when this thing finally gets honorably preserved.

  • Yay Ed! Texans and Rodeo need know where they can get off.

  • The Dome isn’t built as well as some think. The roof trusses all converge on an 8 foot compression ring in the center. If you take that ring out, the roof will collapse and enough explosives could bring down the exterior walls or they could just use a wrecking ball.

  • Agree with him. Me no trust rodeo.

  • Make it Harris County Office Complex Super Center. Houses employees and stores equipment, public services, etc. Super Bus or Rail service upgrade and mini Metro hub.

  • How many parking lots does the HLSR really need?

  • Turn it into an indoor tropical garden that would dwarf Moody Gardens. The Dome itself is a potential tourist attraction and the gardens would add to that.

  • Just tear the g-d thing down already. We’re never going to use it, it’s waaaay too expensive to rehab. Tear it down. Who cares?

  • The best possible use I’ve seen is from a UH Architecture Student’s masters project.

    He proposed deconstructing the dome and leaving the metal structure underneath. It would resemble Houston’s Eiffel Tower!

    During Texans games there would be a large green space underneath which could be used for tailgating like the Grove in Oxford Mississippi, and that grass area can be used for exhibitions during HLSR.

    It’s a partial demolition, so it shouldn’t cost much money compared to other proposals, considering blowing it up isn’t an option because of the proximity to Reliant Stadium, and the history of the 8th wonder will remain.

  • As rich as the Rodeo and the Texans are, let them pay for the demolition if they want a parking lot.

  • From Dana-X:

    Nice idea Dana, but if grass wouldn’t grown in there (that’s whey they invented AstroTurf) tropical probably won’t make it either. What happened to all the feral cats?

  • Here’s a new thought, why not just turn it into the criminal courthouse and jail? This could kill three birds with one stone:

    (1) The county could give up the jails and criminal courthouse downtown (ridding much of criminal types that plague the area and potential development)

    (2) As many of you probably (and hopefully) don’t know, the criminal court house is flawed in that it was built tall, thus causing massive waits at the elevators and tardiness amongst defendants and attorneys. If the courthouse was in a wider (and rounder) and more accessible, many of these problems would be solved.

    (3) FIRST STADIUM COURTHOUSE IN THE COUNTRY! The Astrodome maintains its prestige as the 8th Wonder of the World.

  • Texas justice; two men enter, one man leaves style!

  • There certainly would be nothing as YEE-HAW TEXAS as turning the self-proclaimed “8th Wonder of the World” into a prison.

  • @newb,
    That is the best and most profitable thing I have heard yet.

  • I’m also of the opinion that HLSR is pretty dubious, obviously profit oriented in spite of claiming to be a charity. To put it in Texan terms they’ve gotten too big for their britches — not to mention this years musical line up was horrible unless you like country music. I think the Astrodome is as close to history as we have in Houston and should be preserved — would have preferred to the see Dynamo play there instead of their new oven in EADO, or U of H instead of their new stadium. There has to be some use for it, and to see it reduced to a pile of rubble would be tragic.

  • Miss_msry

    The astrodome can actually grow grass, they just painted over the skylights because it blinded the outfielders.

    So if you just take some turpentine and get rid of that paint, it should be able to grow vegetation again.

  • Hear, hear, Newb.

  • We should turn it into a monument against govt. spending.

  • How about the Texans and the HLSR throw in $15M towards the demo costs and you’ve got a deal.

  • The HLSR spent $42 million last year to buy parking at the former Astroworld spot and just $19 million on their stated mission (education). Here are the findings to my study; it’s time to TAX the rodeo.

  • The more this saga continues, the more I’m inclined to agree with the opinion that the dome should become the Rodeo’s and the Texan’s problem, since they seem to shoot down every idea that’s ever been proposed for the reuse of the dome. Clearly their goal is to be rid of the place, so they’ve dragged the repurposing process out long enough for the place to fall into disrepair in order to seal the dome’s fate. Both the Rodeo and the Texans are flush with cash, so if they want it gone, let them pay for the demolition.

  • No it needs to be partially demolished. Remove the interior and dome. leave the shell and turn it into an open air amphitheater/ park, built so it won’t need much maintenance in the future. That way the ghost of the landmark is still there.

  • Ohhh H-town, how you love to thumb your nose up at history… sorry folks, but we all know its coming down. That’s how Houston rolls unfortunately; Shamrock Hotel, the Ben Milan, The coliseum, etc…

    Nice knowing ya Domie. ‘:(

  • How about demolishing it and turning it into fairgrounds or something? Plant a bunch of trees, add some landscaping, and add some hook ups for tailgaters and for the Rodeo. Instead of having a bunch of parking lots making up tailgating and the Rodeo.

  • look, I love the dome as much as any native Houstonian of a certain age, but come on people, it’s hideous and has fallen into disrepair…it’s a white elephant if their ever was one..it’s a money pit..I agree the Texans should pay to take it down..they have lived on the largess of the Harris County Payer..so if they want the parking..tear it down…i like the idea of a steel open air shell and a park in the middle..I live in San Antonio now and it’s nice to live in a city that values it’s history..but Houston only looks forward, so tear it down..sic transic gloria

  • To paraphrase the Great Communicator: Tear down this dome! Do not under any circumstances spend any more public funds on this thing, beyond what is needed for demolition.

  • I like the idea of a tailgating/special events area. The playing field of the astrodome is about 25 feet below street level so it makes for a natural bowl. Great for concerts. For rodeo and Super Bowl it would be an excellent addition.

  • I know we’re not voting here, but I vote to keep the Dome. Turn it into an X-treme sports venue – you know, skate park, indoor surf pool,indoor sky diving, paint ball, etc. The Med Ctr is just down the street so should anything happen . . . . . Seriously, keep the area filled with entertaining attractions because that’s what the reliant/astro-domain area is all about.

  • I agree with #32. Why we don’t refashion the dome into a giant indoor recreation area is beyond me!?

  • It could be the new location for Marfreless! Plenty of room for the lovin’.

  • I always laugh at the idea of turning it into a parking lot. That real estate is too valuable. During first rodeo after it was razed, it would just be more room for food booths, carnival rides, and the ever ubiquitous Ford truck display.

  • Yeah, that real estate is just too valuable, because it isn’t surrounded by parking already.

    I’m sure they said the same thing about Astroworld.

  • I always cringe when someone says to gut the dome and turn it into a parking garage. Can you imaging how awful that would be to get out of when events are over? I parked with a friend in the Toyota center garage and it took nearly 30 minutes to get out of there. Never again, I will always park on the street.

  • If the leaders in Houston of the past ever had the “vision”, “leadership skills”, and “imagination” that our current elected leadership and business leaders demonstrate today, the dome would have never been built, nor would most of what consitutes Houston today. It would have been “impractical”, “too expensive”, “cost taxpayers too much”, “waste of money”, “waste of taxpayer dollars”….the list goes on and on.

  • I’ll say it again, move the MetroRail station inside the dome. Have it go right through the East Gate. Turn the rest of it into a theater/shopping center/bar/restaurant area and there you go. Demolish the Astroarena in the process.

  • I lol’d hard at some of these ideas about what to do with the Dome, and I have to say that it is a very Houston thing to want to turn it into a prison. That thing will never again be safe for humans in any way whatsoever. It is a massive dump. I mean what other city keeps its useless, crappy, old sports stadiums around.

  • Anyone here ever been to Atocha Station in Madrid, Spain. Its a huge train station near the Prado museum that still serves trains, but has been enclosed and has a large, impressive tropical garden.

    My guess is that, I won’t see many takers for this idea here, but I’d love to see the dome kept enclosed and turned into a facility that includes a climate-controlled garden like that. But, despite being a secondary purpose, its still not a sufficient primary use. I think the prison, planetarium, hotel, casino ideas won’t work as primary uses. But … maybe a combo of uses would work.

    If we demolish it, I think people in the future Houston will regret it.