Texans, Houston Rodeo Propose Tearing Down Astrodome To Build New Outdoor Space
Harris County (Tex.) officials are "open to considering" a $66M plan devised by the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Texans to tear down the Astrodome and "turn the nearly 9-acre site into a massive outdoor space reminiscent of downtown's Discovery Green," according to a front-page piece by Kiah Collier of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The project, titled the "Astrodome Hall of Fame," was drawn up by two architecture and construction firms and is "designed to pay tribute to 'the Astrodome's history' and realize its potential as an 'outdoor fulcrum' of NRG Park." Tributes to the various events, athletes and entertainers who have played and performed at the stadium would be "installed on each of 72 structural columns that would stand as tall as the 49-year-old structure." Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo COO Leroy Shafer and Texans President Jamey Rootes both indicated that they are "open to helping foot the bill for the project, describing it as 'affordable.'" However, they would "not say how much they would contribute." Shafer suggested that the commemorative plaques could "bring in a considerable sum through sponsorships from corporations, foundations or individuals." Collier reports a timeline included in the document shows work "would have had to begun in April for it to be done in time" for Super Bowl LI, which is set to be played in February '17 at NRG Stadium. When asked about the timing, Shafer said, "Believe me this is not a Super Bowl issue." However, Rootes acknowledged that it would be "'a plus' if the project could be completed before then" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/11).