Comment of the Day Runner-Up: Do Not Detonate

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: DO NOT DETONATE “Sports [and Convention Corp.], Port Authority . . . let’s get rid of them. The question of what to do with the Dome is a no-brainer. What would you do with your ‘old’ home once you got moved into your new ‘dream home’? Would you sell it? Would you lease it out? Would you donate it to a charity or non-profit? Would you demolish it and get NOTHING from it in return? It would cost at least 200 million to 300 million dollars to replicate a structure/facility comparable to the Dome and how there could be anyone in Houston in favor of demolition is unimaginable. In actuality, the referendum on Tuesday’s ballot was for the issuing of bonds totaling $217 million so that the Dome could be physically remodeled into a more versatile facility. Just because the referendum failed does not mean that the Dome will be demolished. Hopefully, there is a majority of Harris County Commissioners who will not implode $300 million worth of Harris County assets for a new parking lot. If not, then maybe we should get rid of some commissioners also. Houston, get real. Remember all the stadiums that the Chinese rushed to get completed for the Beijing Olympics? If we already have 2 right near each other why would we want to tear one down? If Harris County doesn’t want to spend money to repurpose it in 2013 then we should wait . . . maybe in another couple of years — after all, Inner Loop real estate just keeps appreciating.” [joenormal, commenting on New I-45 Billboard Goes Up, Just in Time to Save the Astrodome?] Illustration: Lulu

24 Comment

  • Putting 200-300 million value on the structure is purely academic, a building is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it, hence, the dome has $0 asset value. Secondly, basic upkeep is draining millions a year, if my old house was costing me a lot of money a year indefinitely, yes I would demolish it.

  • Unfortunately for proponents or repurposing, we don’t have a few years to wait. We got the 2017 Superbowl, and there aren’t many politicians or influencers interested in having a giant derelict structure looming in every camera shot during the big game.
    Any repurposing would be a lengthy process, and I doubt it we have time to start over from the idea phase and get something done by the Superbowl.
    Not to mention that the people responsible for this whole process, along with one curiously over-involved judge, have basically made it clear that if the referendum didn’t pass, they weren’t going to pursue any other option than demolition.

  • I agree with demolition plans against the commissioners. They are a bunch of crooks!

  • I totally agree with commonsense*, this thing is wasting millions of tax payer money every year, and now we need to gamble 200m more just to build a “200m public park” that will also need millions to up keep with no expectation of income generating. no way, jose

  • I would like to see it used as a park space as envisioned by the UH grad student AND as a concert venue to compete with Cynthia Woods… who really wants to drive all the way out to the Woodlands for a concert and it is much much larger.

  • Who would have the power to sack Emmett and his band of cronies?

  • It’s astonishing that so many people believe that the fate of a historic, multi-hundred million dollar facility should hinge on the “optics” during a single friggin football game, which is all the Superbowl actually is, despite the hype. The Astrodome was sitting there during the broadcast of the last Superbowl. Funny, I don’t remember the world coming to an end that day.

  • And the sad thing is it didn’t need to be repurposed. Had it been spruced up and brought up to code right after the Astros left, it could have hosted high school football games, all the same motorsports events it always did, concerts, you name it. And still have been a convention and rodeo venue. And a sports venue if Houston ever does get an Olympic Festival again. One of the biggest problems, of course, with having Reliant and the Astrodome rocking along at the same time is traffic and parking in the area, since they put Reliant in the Dome’s parking lot.

  • @commonsense the Silverdome near Detroit sold for over $500,000.

    Really, the best thing to do would be for the county to sell it to the highest bidder and let them do with it as they will. If it just continues to rust (like the trash in so many Houston yards) then so be it. In 1000 years we’ll have some ancient ruins for people to visit.

  • Pay for the tear down with a surcharge on all Reliant Park activities …. after all the cost for the extra parking should be paid by those whom benefit. Otherwise let it sit behind a fence just like it was in deep East Texas.

    I bet some serious repurpose ideas would eventually come out of the good “Judge”

  • at least 53% of the people in this city have a brain – duh winning

  • Assuming demolition has to occur, I like Creole’s suggestion for the park space/outdoor concert venue. That being said, the taxpayers should not be on the hook for a dime of the demolition.

  • Pretty much every article prior to yesterday mentions that demolition is the most likely option if the bond measure failed. I think Judge Emmit was just trying to soften the blow. The fact is that they’ve received dozens of proposals and none make any economic sense or any sense for that matter (Astrodome Tomorrow ring a bell?). Even the shell idea is dumb and none of these groups could come up with financing. The county has spent thousands on studies and this was the best idea they could come up with. They put it to a vote and it failed. Sport Stadiums of this size that are outdated get torn down it’s just a fact. They hoped after Reliant opened that the Dome would host monster truck shows and HS football games, however that didn’t happen because who wants to use a dilapidated stadium when a brand new one is right next door. Good bye Astrodome.

  • @Marmer – Reliant doesn’t really have a parking problem. Houston has a driving problem. Texans games have over 26,000 parking spaces available, which is more than any other NFL stadium in the country by a LOT. Demolishing the dome will open up less than 3,000 additional spaces, or about 10% more parking than is available now. If demolition is a given, I wouldn’t mind revenue from those spots used to offset the cost of blasting caps and explosives, but it’s not a pressing parking need.

  • @MC: “The fact is that they’ve received dozens of proposals and none make any economic sense or any sense for that matter.. Even the shell idea is dumb and none of these groups could come up with financing.”

    The fact is building another convention center on a HUGE public dime when the GRB is operating as less than full capacity doesn’t make any sense either.

    But hey, at least HCSCC had private financing for their plan, and acted fairly in quashing all those other proposals because they didn’t, right? Right??

    Not sure if you’re working for the people responsible for this, or just grossly misinformed, but either way..

  • At least the Dome isn’t in the Heights Historic District! :)

  • Replacement value asset worth

    A derelict 60K seat stadium with no tenant right next to a shiny new 70K seat stadium with two tenants is not worth much.

  • Dissolve the Harris County Sports Authority.

  • Hell, they are demolishing homes in my neighborhood every month. The dome is worth less than nothing. It is costing all of us tons of money just to let it sit there and rot. Even during its hay-day the dome was less than ideal for any type of event. It was a lousy baseball stadiun, foot ball stadium, basketball arena. And one of the worst venues for a concert. Good riddens to the dome.

  • @Ian, I thought this idea was dumb too and I agree that we didn’t need another convention center when we have two already that are only used for gun and bridal shows most of the time. I seem to recall when Astrodome redevelopment wanted to do their hotel thing the county said they wouldn’t help out with financing, I always wondered why now they were all of the sudden for using public funds to redevelop the dome. ARC was the only group who came close to having financing or at least they said they did. No one else could come up with the money.

  • Maybe they could free up availability in the George R Brown by consolidating the gun shows and the bridal expos.
    Then we REALLY wouldn’t need a new convention center.

  • Etherist: New meaning to “shotgun wedding”

  • Etherist- Believe it or not, I have been to a gun show at the GRB while there was a bridal show next door. True story!

  • This is politics. The HLSR made an interesting statement when purchasing the 40+ acres of the old AstroWorld, “Even if we end up selling this as an investment,” CEO Leroy Shafer comments to abc13 reporter Christine Dobbyn, “we’ll control what can be put there and that’s very important when it’s our front door.” I would venture to say that policy holds true with the AstroDome as well, the Rodeo is protecting it’s front door. Until I’m blue in the face I will continue to push to convert the Dome into a Festival Ground. The concourses alone have 650,000 sq ft of space, not to mention it will have the ability to host festivals despite weather conditions. The City of Houston is currently forced to close streets downtown and in places like Montrose (greekfest) or have us fight the heat, mosquitoes and flooding on the bayou to hold festivals. This is a job for HoustonFirst and the HC&VB, use hotel tax revenue to refurbish the Dome, using profits to make continuing upgrades in phases. It was obvious HCSCC’s proposal wouldn’t work and I think what was unfair about the process is that county funds were never made available to other prospective proposals nor did we get a chance to chose the best idea. However, the savings to the city and the chance for Mayor Parker to place herself in the annuals of history as the “savior” of the Dome could be too hard to turn down. After all the City of Houston is the majority of Harris County, most of the sales and property taxes collected by the county are from Houston. Heck, The Harris County Domed Stadium was always known as The Houston AstroDome anyways. If anything is a relic its the County Government and The Livestock Show and Rodeo. I always hear citizens complain about how we subsidize professional sports stadiums but haven’t we been subsidizing the rodeo as well? Here’s an idea hosting the Carnival on the dome floor and The Cook-Off on the concourses weather free?
    Unfortunately the Rodeo felt $42.8 millon would be better spent on a parking lot. This town is only the illusion of a world-class city. NEW LEADERSHIP. peace