Will Dome still be standing come Super Bowl time?

May 23, 2013 2:40:33 AM PDT
Four years until the Super Bowl returns to Houston and the question remains. Will the Astrodome still be standing and empty when the national spotlight is back on us for the big game?

Our community leaders say the future of the Astrodome isn't related to the Super Bowl, but they also promise the quandary will be solved by 2017

"We're not short of great ideas of what to do with the Dome," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "We're short of ideas that have money attached to them."

There is now a June 10 deadline for submission of plans from outside sources. Ryan Slattery hopes his vision will be considered.

"It's stripping away everything but the steel, and injecting a park underneath it," he said.

Slattery's idea of taking the Dome down to its humble beginnings as a steal structure infused with a park won't come cheap.

"We're presenting it as a public-use project," he said.

In fact, doing anything to the Dome, from demolishing to reinvention, will cost millions of dollars. That's the challenge facing the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, an affordable option that will retain the Dome and be completed before the Super Bowl. We'll know by June 25, the deadline for a presentation on how to save the Dome.

"I don't want anyone to start emphasizing the days of the Astrodome are numbered, that we are just in the process of demolishing it," said Edgar Colon with the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. "Frankly, that's just not true."

Any solution that commissioners court decide on in late June will likely be put in front of voters because a bond election will very possibly be needed to pay for whatever happens to the Dome.

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