What to do with the Astrodome?

May 27th, 2013

My earliest memory of the Astrodome is from the movie Selena (yes, I am from New York). When I arrived in Houston, and went to my first Texas game at the nearby Reliant Stadium, I was stunned at how tiny and dumpy the Astrodome was. It paled in comparison to the nearby mega-stadium, and seemed totally abandoned. The fate of the Astrodome, once dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, has been a controversy in Houston for some time. But with the Superbowl coming to town in 2017, a renewed movement is afoot to do something about it. The NFL wants to turn it into parking lots. There seems to be plenty of parking nearby. Others want to turn it into some kind of green place.

Slattery’s plan, which has gained traction, involves a vision of green space. He would strip the Astrodome to its steel skeleton, evoking the Eiffel Tower of sport, and install a park. It could be used for football tailgating, livestock exhibitions, recreational sports. Other ideas have been floated through the years, some more realistic than others: music pavilion, casino, movie studio, hotel, museum, shopping mall, indoor ski resort, amusement park.

Land use decisions in Houston are always quirky.

Let’s see what happens.