What better way to rally voters in support of saving the Astrodome than a weekend-before-election-day sell-off of parts ripped from its vast interior? Will the resulting media attention to Dome history and the possible scrap value of its salvaged furnishings encourage voters to support the bond issue on the ballot that’ll preserve but reinvent Houston’s landmark venue? Or will focusing on the Dome’s already-in-progress dismantling and the junkyard-lot atmosphere (Get a piece of it while you can!) of this weekend’s all-day bleacher and AstroTurf yard sale have an opposite effect, allowing fencesitters an opportunity for clarity and closure — or even helping preservationists come to terms with the building’s possible demise?
This coming Saturday’s Astrodome estate sale and auction was approved by the same group that originated the Save the Dome plan: the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. If there’s some sort of compressed timeline that requires it to take place in the middle of early voting, it isn’t apparent: After Reliant Park crews sell off all 500 of the upper-deck chair-pairs earmarked for the event (for $200 each; only 4 pairs per person, please), they’ll still have about 59,000 more seats to get rid of at a later date.
For now, though, workers have gotten busy unscrewing turnstiles, football and dugout benches, on-deck circles, and other major league hardware from the Dome — and hauling them over to safe-for-visitors Reliant Center for the sale or auction, along with a few didn’t-know-we-still-had-these items, such as early grounds-crew space helmets. They’re also chopping up the AstroTurf (baseball version only; the football one was already too trashed already) into 12-in.-by-12-in. squares ($20 each; limit 4) — too small for a doormat.
- ‘Rainbow gut’ seats, space helmets part of Astrodome sale; Rare pieces of Astrodome history being prepped for weekend ‘yard sale’ [Houston Chronicle]
- Everything must go: Astrodome seats, items up for auction [Houston Business Journal]
- First look at Astrodome items up for auction [KHOU]
- Astrodome coverage [Swamplot]
Photo: Candace Garcia