Dynamo Stadium Approval Will Draw a Line Around the Astrodome

DYNAMO STADIUM APPROVAL WILL DRAW A LINE AROUND THE ASTRODOME Included in that Dynamo Stadium deal Harris County commissioners are expected to approve today: A new TIRZ for the Astrodome. “Fixing the Astrodome is not the purpose of the district, but a surge of development in the area could make the Astrodome more attractive as an investment and destination, according to development officials. There are no specific plans on what to do with redevelopment money in the Astrodome district or even an indication that any of it will be spent on the old stadium. County officials say it is not likely that redevelopment money would be used for Astrodome debt payments. Astrodome expenses are covered by a combination of hotel and car rental taxes, parking fees and concessions.” [Houston Chronicle]

16 Comment

  • It would great if they could actually do something with the Astroworld land too. What a terrible decision by Six Flags to tear this down before a suitable replacement for the land was in place.
    Just another casualty of the hype of the Red Line Real Estate Bubble.

  • whatever happened to the idea floating around to turn it into a hollywood sound stage? the city could at least make some money off of it during the “off seasons” while they are deciding what to do with the Astrodome.

  • The best use for the old dome would be multi-level parking. Any other use would be a money pit. Just tear it down if you won’t make a parking garage out of it. If they tear it down, they can sell small pieces of the dome and souvenirs and actually make money off the demolition.

    Six Flags shut down AstroWorld because the park was constrained (couldn’t fit new attractions) and it was losing money. Six Flags could easily expand their park in San Antonio and Arlington.

  • Mark my words, the thing is going to fall apart before they figure out what to do with it. A sad testament to a city that fails to protect its past while planning for its future.

  • The land that is there now is generating exactly zero revenue for anyone (unless they’re selling hay twice a year) right now … nothing to help pay the property taxes here. I mean, it’s been 5 years, and *somebody* has been paying those taxes.
    Maybe it wouldn’t have been feasible, but couldn’t they have dismantled parts of the park, and sold a portion of the land there for some use or for their own parking (or just another holding company), thereby allowing SixFlags to generate income, possibly additional parking spaces (for fewer guests), and some upfront cash. Somebody tell me if I’m thinking too simplistically here.

    I think the decision to demolish and sell did not turn out as they planned. Apparently, the CEO was let go (among other reasons) because this was such a poor decision. It wasn’t just a loss for Houston, but also a poor decision for the company.

  • Anyway, on a more positive note, the empty land on the former Astroworld site is a clean slate for a new redevelopment project pertaining to the adjacent Astroworld building.

    I bet that pedestrian overpass could come in handy and add to the area’s “walkability” or “bikeability”.

  • The Astrodome is Houston’s Eiffel Tower and carries inside it the soul of Houston. We have never matched it, and should strive to immagine what else it could be, while respecting all the excitement, bravado, and technological innovation (for its time) that we can. To naysayers, I ask, “What, to you, is the soul of Houston?”

  • AmnesiaHouston: “The Eiffel Tower of Houston”? Please. Last time I saw a photo of the Eiffel Tower (the real one), it did not have a 2,000 foot, state of the art tower standing beside it on the banks of the Seine, doing the exact job it used to do, only much, much better. Didn’t seem like the Eiffel Tower is boarded up, with no one allowed on its observation decks, either.

    The ‘Dome is a worn out structure that has seen its day. Granted, a lot of memorable things have happened inside. Same was true of the “real” Yankee Stadium, too. And it is gone.

  • Al,

    Six Flags has been running red for a while prior to the closing of the AstroWorld. They had to cut losses and AstroWorld and Jazzland (in New Orleans) were big losers. Jazzland was messed up bad in Katrina, but was losing money bad prior to it.

    There isn’t much that could save a falling apart amusement park that was rarely ever full of people. The Six Flags park in San Antonio and Arlington have seen a lot of visitors from the Houston area while AstroWorld was open.

  • A sad testament to a city that fails to protect its past while planning for its future.

    Actually the testament was the Shamrock that was torn down to create a parking lot. Hilton wanted a tax write-off. The Texas Medical Center wanted a parking lot. Never mind that the Shamrock was one of the true “landmarks” of Houston.

    True visionaries at work.

  • Matt,

    That was before my time here so I had to look it up. Truly pathetic.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like much has changed. How much do you want to bet that once the public backlash subsides, the Alabama Theater will be quietly “renovated” or worse.
    When an area lacks laws to protect historic structures, should we really expect anything else?

    After all, it looks like there was significant public pressure at the time to stop the demolition of the Shamrock Hotel. Look how well that turned out.

  • With Six Flags in bankruptcy with over 2 billion in debt, there’s more wrong with them than Astroworld and Jazzland.

  • No Houston area politician is brave enough to state the obvious that there is no economically viable alternative for the Astrodome and that it should be torn down instead of spending a million for maintenance each year. Instead, they will continue to let it deteriorate until it becomes unsafe to inhabit and prohibitively expensive to renovate. Then they can tear it down and not take the heat.

  • Ooops… made a mistake on the yearly maintenance cost for the Astrodome. Make that 2 million for insurance, maintenance, utilities and security.

  • Dear Houston City Government People,

    Watch Hoarders on A&E; after you watch Hoarders on A&E, go vote on what to do with the Astrodome.

    Thank you.


  • Norhill Joe – You are 100% on point.

    Maybe it will finally be torn down after the bonds are paid off, someday.

    Another reason to hate Bud Adams.