SBD/May 24, 2012/Facilities

Houston Agency Recommends Renovation Of Astrodome Into Multi-Purpose Venue

It would cost $64M to demolish the Astrodome, replace it with a parking plaza
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. yesterday "recommended that Commissioners Court ask voters to renovate Reliant Astrodome into a multipurpose venue" for $270M and replace aging Reliant Arena for $385.4M, according to Morris & Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. If the Commissioners Court "wants a smaller price tag, the Dome could be demolished and replaced with a park plaza for $64 million." The Astrodome renovation would entail "stripping the seats out of the 47-year-old stadium, upgrading or replacing its mechanical systems, sprucing up the roof and exterior and installing a floor at street level." Populous architectural consultant firm Founder & Senior Principal Dennis Wellner said that the multipurpose Dome "could be used to host concerts of all sizes, as well as football, soccer and hockey games, basketball and tennis tournaments, livestock shows, conventions and other events." While the Astrodome has a higher profile, Sports Corp. Chair Edgardo Colon said that "consultants believe replacing Reliant Arena is a higher priority, and would allow the county to better compete for events, shows and conventions" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/24). In N.Y., Fernandez & Cadis write, "The other three options were keeping the stadium as it is and doing nothing, tearing it down to build an outdoor plaza or turning it into a multipurpose facility, but with added retail, dining and entertainment attractions" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/24).
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