When the NRG Astrodome, more commonly known as the Houston Astrodome, first opened in 1965 it was one of a kind. It was the first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium in the world. When opened, it was named the Harris County Domed Stadium and was nicknamed the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. It was also the first sports stadium to feature artificial turf, which was later named AstroTurf in honor of the ‘dome.
The Houston Astrodome was home to the Houston Astros from 1965 until 1999, The Houston Oilers from 1968 until 1996, The Houston Rockets from 1971 until 1975, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from 1966 until 2002. In 2014 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s safe to say that the Astrodome is a Houston landmark, even though it hasn’t been in use since 2008. The question that has been circling Space City for the last 8 years is :What are we going to do with the Houston Astrodome?
The Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 to approve the latest $105 million proposal. They are expecting the renovations to take upwards of three years. The revitalization plan still has to be approved by the Texas Historical Commission, however.
The Houston Astrodome Revitalization plan:
- The floor would be raised to street level and made into a parking garage with 1,400 spaces.
- About 240,000 square feet would become some sort of indoor park or event space.
- Then 550,000 square feet at the dome’s core would be used for retail or hospitality.
$35 million, would come from the county’s general fund, made up largely of property tax revenue. Another third would come from hotel taxes, with the remaining third coming from county parking revenues. The same amount of money taken from the general fund would be required to demolish the Houston Astrodome. In other words, it currently would cost the same to demolish it as it would to fix it.