SBD/November 4, 2013/Facilities

Astrodome Memorabilia Sale Draws Thousands More Than Expected

A sale and auction of memorabilia from the Astrodome on Saturday "drew thousands of people, some of whom waited in line for hours," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Fans "started lining up around 5 a.m., three hours before the sale was set to begin at the adjacent Reliant Center." Local memorabilia dealer Ted Nelkin said that he was told organizers "ran out of Astroturf pieces at 11 a.m. and ran out of physical seats that had been removed from the Dome by 2 p.m." He added of how the sale was conducted, "I've got nothing good to say about it. They could have cared less that we were there." Reliant Park GM Mark Miller said that sale organizers "expected about 1,500 people to show up but that the actual crowd was six to eight times that size." He added that Reliant Park "consulted with the group that handled the sale of seats and other items from Yankee Stadium and were told that 'there was some initial demand but that it tapered off very quickly.'" Miller: "We were going to feel good if we had sold 500 pairs of seats." Instead, organizers "sold 900 pairs and accepted orders for another 1,500 pairs." Miller said that Reliant Park will "conduct an online auction starting at noon Nov. 15 for customers who were unable to get to the Saturday morning sale" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/3). MLBAM Exec VP/Content Dinn Mann said, "People who aren't from Houston don't understand -- probably can't understand -- that to us, this is more than just a stadium. This is our Golden Gate Bridge, our Empire State Building" (N.Y. POST, 11/3). The AP's Juan Lozano noted the sale and auction came "just days before voters will decide whether to approve a referendum that would authorize" up to $217M in bonds to turn the Astrodome "into a giant convention center and exhibition space" (AP, 11/2).
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