Stadiums were the buzz at State of the County

February 11, 2010 9:40:09 PM PST
It's been talked about as a possible movie studio, Houston's Hollywood, or even a mega entertainment complex. But for years, the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' has been collecting dust, and you've been paying for it. On Thursday, as Harris County leaders gave the State of the County address, the future of the Astrodome and the possibility of a new Dynamo stadium topped the "to do" list.

There wasn't a Dynamo player in the audience at this year's State of the County speech, but people were asking just when will the fate of the stadium be finalized. And Harris County Judge Ed Emmett agreed. The fans deserve an answer.

"It's one of those situations we just need to find out what are the hang-ups, what are the points causing the problem?" he said during Thursday's address.

Judge Emmett says all signs still points to the East End location as the best possibility for a Dynamo stadium. Houston Mayor Annise Parker says she expects a resolution soon.

"The city has already come to the table, we're respecting the agreement that we have," said Mayor Parker. "It's up to the Dynamo to come back with or without the county."

Another sports venue with an uncertain future is the aging Astrodome. Judge Emmett says the most realistic option being studied is using part of the Dome for a technology museum, and the make the rest of it usable, open space.

"Not turn it into a hotel, not do anything that costs $500 million, but bring it back to code and make it usable as part of the overall Reliant master plan," said Emmett.

Judge Emmett expects a full proposal on the Astrodome within months and says whatever the plan, a bond proposal will need to be approved by the voters. As for the Dynamo, though there isn't a firm answer, one thing the East End site won't become is a jail.

"We have absolutely not looked at the property that the city of Houston purchased for the proposed Dynamo Stadium as a possible jail site," said Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia.

A decision is expected on the Dynamo stadium is expected in a couple of weeks, while the fate of the Astrodome could lie with voters in a few months.