Will the Rodeo or the Texans Pay Rent To Use the Astrodome?

WILL THE RODEO OR THE TEXANS PAY RENT TO USE THE ASTRODOME? Contradicting teevee reporter Ted Oberg’s declaration a couple of weeks ago that the county’s own projections show that the renovated Astrodome would barely break even, the Chronicle’s Kiah Collier produces the county’s underlying single-sheet financial summary (PDF), which projects net operating income of $1.9 million a year for a redone Dome, based on $4 million in revenue. There’s not a lot of detail behind any of the “ballpark” figures that go into that projection, though — and there’s clearly been disagreement over a couple of revenue sources that may or may not be included in it. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has now officially endorsed (PDF) the bond proposal on tomorrow’s ballot that would fund the conversion of the Astrodome into “The New Dome Experience” — but only, it seems, after wresting commitments from county officials to create some sort of repair fund for Reliant Stadium and to pay for repairs to the Reliant Arena — before replacing it, somewhere down the line. Judge Emmett and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp.’s Edgar Colón now say the Rodeo may not have to pay rent to use the revamped facility, but whether the free-rent deal the Rodeo had with the Astrodome legally applies to a renovated and seemingly repurposed facility isn’t quite so clear to other officials Collier talks to, who claim any payments would be “worked out later.” The Houston Texans, meanwhile, who earlier this year with the Rodeo promoted a study showing how a $29 million demolition of the Dome would clear way for 2,500 shiny new parking spots — have been standing on the sidelines while the bond proposal is put to voters. Really, the team would have no interest at all in using a completely revamped name-brand facility right next to the site of the 2017 Super Bowl, even? “If the Astrodome is renovated,” the team’s coy statement reads, “we would consider using it, but do not have a specific use in mind at the present time . . .” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of the New Dome Experience: New Dome PAC/Kirksey Architecture

12 Comment

  • I used to like the Rodeo organization. Heck, I even got scholarship money from them.
    However, this is BS.
    Why would we need Reliant Arena if the Dome is revamped?
    I don’t see the need for both of them at all.

  • So, in a nutshell, the only people that MIGHT pay to use it, have no plans or any intentions to pay. It’s a waste of resources on a project with no need or want.
    I guess we’ll see tomorrow which way it goes.

  • At 5:45 the evening before election day I got an email from the Rodeo talking about how they are now happy and encouraging me to vote “for.”

    Not that I pay much heed to HLSR endorsements in the first place, but I and over 100,000 of my closest friends have already voted.

  • The Texans suck! After all the money we’ve lined McNair’s pocket with and now all this so he can get more parking for his horrid product. Really, he has a hell of nerve and now that tepid, we may use it who knows. As for the Rodeo, they can shove that endorsement up their chaps, it’s so late to fain support it’s an insult, it really means nothing. I’m confident the proposition will pass, I’ve seen the internal polls, but still would it have killed the greedy Texans to sho some altruism toward the iconic stadium that made pro sports possible in Houston, but alas that seems too much to ask of an organization that’s taking hundreds of millions from the taxpayer..corporate welfare at it’s most tiresome.

  • @mollusk

    what did you vote? FOR? @:)

  • This dome proposal is a clusterfuck by a group of politicians who have no stake of their own money in it. The so-called $8 a year will increase as the losses on operations are inevitable. Doing nothing would be better… just leave the dome alone unless someone wants to buy it.

  • Hahaha! And you suckers actually think this thing ever had a chance to pay for its annual maintenance costs!

  • It needs to be demolished, although the referendum will pass. People thinking with their hearts instead of their brains!

  • This is awful. I planned on voting against the bond proposal because I do not like the plan at all. However, reading the responses from the Rodeo and Texans makes me sick.

    In the event that you are voting for the bond proposal, can you please elaborate on why you are voting that way? (beyond “it is the only way to save the Dome”) What am I missing about this plan?

  • It’s crap like this, government wasting money, and tax decisions made by people with no skin in the game that have swung the pendulum yet again. It used to be a civic duty to pay taxes, then it became prudent to minimize paying taxes, a decade or two ago dodging taxes became a sport, and now days dodging taxes at any cost has become a patriotic duty and a form of protest.

  • What a shocker, that on the day of the election the real scoop comes to surface. This whole thing is a total boondoggle, paid for on the back of the stupid, gullible citizens of Houston.I am all for historic preservation where preservation is worthwhile, the Astrodome is just a former sports stadium. The dome is no architectural wonder, yes it may be an engineering wonder but not worthy of sinking $1/4B into it.

  • I voted for this proposal because I think the Dome is a Houston Icon worth preserving. I’m suspect about it ever covering costs, but that’s fine with me, it’s only 8 dollars, about the price of a small wedge of some fancy cheese. Think of it as a diet for a day for some of you, see the dome is giving back after all. Seriously, I love the Astrodome and have great memories and feel it’s an important building that shouldn’t be leveled like some old car lot..end of story.