Harris County (Texas) Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called a proposal by the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo to "demolish the Astrodome and replace it with a park-like green space 'a silly plan'" and pleaded with members of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston to "give a repurposing of the iconic structure a second chance." In Houston, Kiah Collier notes Emmett in a luncheon speech was "not advocating for a specific proposal and told members there is not one currently under consideration" by the Harris County Commissioners Court. Rather, he said that tearing down the vacant stadium would be a "waste of a valuable taxpayer asset" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/18).
MOVING THE BALL FORWARD: In DC, Mike DeBonis notes city Council member Muriel Bowser announced Thursday she will "hold two hearings" on the DC United stadium deal next week. On would be in Southwest DC, "not far from where the proposed stadium would be located," and another in the Frank D. Reeves Center, the municipal building that is a "key cog in the deal's financing scheme." No votes are expected on the MLS venue plan until fall at the earliest, but several council committees have moved to "gather input on the proposal, and independent consultants are expected to analyze the real estate aspects of the deal for lawmakers in the coming weeks" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/18).
SPACE JAM: In San Diego, Mark Zeigler reported work on San Diego State's new $14.5M basketball practice facility "quietly began this week." The "estimated completion date" is toward the end of August '15. Zeigler cited a California State Univ. Committee on Institutional agenda as saying the facility's "proposed name" is the Jeff Jacobs JAM Center (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).
HALL PASS: In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly reported the Motorsports HOF of America has started the "arduous task of moving its priceless collection of cars and racing artifacts" from its base in Novi, Mich., to storage in Daytona Beach. The HOF has begun preparing for its '16 opening that aims is to "coincide with the debut" of the Daytona Rising project at Daytona Int'l Speedway. The HOF will "eventually relocate" near Daytona Rising (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 7/16).