The Secret Plan To Redevelop the Astrodome

Paczki, A Polish Jelly Donut

By now everybody knows the full story about the latest proposal to turn the Reliant Astrodome into a wacky, gondola-and-balloon-filled convention-hotel donut, right? Sure, it took the Astrodome Redevelopment Corporation four years to work out the plan — and okay, the would-be redevelopers might be a little stingy about actually showing anybody what the thing is supposed to look like. But the proposal’s clear enough that when the Rodeo and the Texans say they don’t like the project we know enough about the plan to understand what they’re objecting to. Right?

Well, maybe not.

In the latest installment of the Chronicle‘s “Oh, by the way, we failed to mention” series on the latest Dome redo efforts, reporter Bill Murphy drops this little nugget about twenty-three paragraphs in:

The rodeo’s [Chief Operating Officer Leroy] Shafer said he understands that officials in his organization might be viewed as “obstructionists” because of their opposition to the plan. But the public, he said, would understand the rodeo’s stance if officials of the group could speak freely about what they see as the project’s problems. Rodeo officials had to sign confidentiality agreements before they were allowed to review details of the plan.

Hey, Harris County residents should feel lucky: we got to see a drawing of the project without all of us having to sign non-disclosure agreements! If we all promise to sign and keep our mouths shut, can we find out about the project secrets too?

But there’s more:


Shafer said commissioners appear to be unaware that rodeo officials have been given only one hotel proposal and that the rodeo has never negotiated directly with Astrodome Redevelopment, but only with the county sports and convention corporation, he said. That corporation is welcome to present alternate plans, he said.

That crafty Sports and Convention Corporation: So good at bringing all sides together! Sure, they could solicit alternate plans, but this one’s so good it deserves a four-year exclusive.

Just wait ’til we get to see it!

Photo: Wisconsin Bakers Association