The inside of the Astrodome has been closed to the general public since 2008, when inspectors revoked its certificate of occupancy after discovering numerous code violations. Four years later, Swamplot’s publication of reader Russell Hancock’s snuck pics of the structure’s desolate innards spurred several local reporters to request their own tours of the structure. Later, the building’s caretakers offered up a few rounds of media tours of the dilapidated stadium on their own, leading up to last November’s defeat of a bond issue that would have paid for extensive renovations to the building. In advance of the vote, and then again shortly after, the Astrodome’s seating and other furnishings were removed and put up for sale.
But since the seat sell-off, the public hasn’t had a chance to see how the inside of the vacant sports stadium appears with the earth-tone rainbows painted in plastic backrest that once lined its upper decks stripped out and sold off. What does the inside of the Astrodome look like, now that it’s a whole lot less colorful, and pretty much standing-room only?
Former reporter Joe Stinebaker, who’s served as Harris County judge Ed Emmett’s spokesman for 7 years, took these photos of the Astrodome’s denuded decks and stripped playing surface during a visit on Monday. Save a few banks that still appear to remain in place in a couple of sections at the lower level in the center of both photos — and the dismantled seats piled onto the AstroTurf-less field in advance of their disposition in a possible upcoming additional sale or auction — there’s no proper place to sit.
Other items inhabiting the stripped floor reflect the building’s current use as a storage facility for other venues in the NRG (formerly Reliant) Park complex. They include a pair of Dumpsters and sections of turf sometimes used in neighboring NRG Stadium.
- Astrodome coverage [Swamplot]
Photos: Joe Stinebaker