Commissioners take no action on Astrodome

June 26, 2012 9:47:02 AM PDT
Harris County commissioners are again trying to decide what to do about the future of the Astrodome. The historic stadium has been sitting dormant for years.

On Tuesday morning, there was not much progress, in fact the commissioners have sent the people designing the dome's future back to the drawing board.

Based on what commissioners told the Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation, they will now take about two months to put together yet another plan for the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.' This one would cost around $400 million and would involve using the Astrodome itself and placing multi-purpose facilities that were going to sit on the property inside the dome instead.

This means there would not be a separate Reliant Arena built, as was part of a previous proposal valued at $523 million. It also means preserving the Astrodome.

A different plan was to tear down the dome and design a plaza, a bargain by comparison at $64 million. Refurbishing the dome alone would cost around $280 million.

Right now, your tax dollars are paying $4 million a year to maintain the empty stadium. After hearing commissioners' concerns, the corporation now goes back to work.

"One of the feedbacks that we have received is, you know, why not just put everything that we want to do inside of the Astrodome, in terms of the replacement of the Arena project. So those are the thing that we're going back to the drawing board and we're considering. Again, we're considering any and all ideas," said Edgar Colon, Chairman of the Harris Co. Convention and Sports Corporation.

So what does this mean for taxpayers? Well, it could take a long time for this to be placed on a ballot as a bond referendum. In the meantime, you are paying for that electric bill and the county has already paid consultants for these plans about $500,000 so far.


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