HOUSTON (KTRK) --The Astrodome will have a future in Houston after a project was approved by the Harris County Commissioners Court to revitalize the aging landmark.
Officials in Harris County confirm via Twitter that the commissioners have approved a $105 million revitalization plan for the Astrodome.
According to County Judge Ed Emmett's office, the new project will take two phases to complete; the first phase will require 12 to 18 months, and Phase II will take between two and three years to finish.
The plan will raise the Astrodome floor 30 feet to ground level, making room for two new levels of underground parking. The addition will create 1,400 premium parking spaces, plus more storage at the Astrodome.
On top of this new ground floor, visitors will find eight acres of column-free, weatherproofed open space that will host the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Offshore Technology Conference, The Houston Boat Show, auto show and other community events that could be affected by inclement weather.
Meantime, the upper levels of the Astrodome, which encompasses more than 500,000 square feet, will become available for redevelopment as well.
Of course, a question on many people's minds will be how the county intends to pay for all this.
According to Emmett's office, the money comes from three source, including $35 million or less drawn from the Harris County General Fund; approximately $35 million from hotel taxes (HOT) in Houston, and another $35 million from the Parking Enterprise Fund.
Another question on everyone's mind - will the remaining seats inside The Dome be sold? The answer is, "no" and Eyewitness News reporter, Ted Oberg explains why in the video below.
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