Renewed Efforts to Redevelop Houston's Historic Astrodome

A nonprofit hopes to create a viable plan for the iconic stadium—and find a way to pay for it.

1 minute read

May 26, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


The "Eighth Wonder of the World" may soon get a new lease on life, reports Zach Despart for the Houston Chronicle. Houston's Astrodome, which opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor, air-conditioned stadium, is the home of the first installation of the artificial grass known as "Astroturf" and has hosted hundreds of legendary concerts and events.

The stadium, which has been sitting vacant since the early 2000s, is a beloved part of Houston history but has failed to gain the necessary funding for any of its proposed redevelopment schemes. "Over the years, calls to repurpose and rejuvenate the dome have spawned a variety of ideas for converting it to a movie studio, a space-themed park, concert and convention venue, hotel and entertainment complex, even an indoor amusement park. None of those ideas, however, included a financing plan county leaders would support." 

Now, a nonprofit group called the Astrodome Conservancy "is seeking the public’s input to craft a pitch to Harris County Commissioners Court, which oversees the building." The group wants to "develop a realistic proposal" for a "community-supported vision for the future of the Astrodome," according to president Beth Wiedower Jackson. Although local leaders seem "unlikely to support" public funding such as bonds, "Wiedower Jackson said the Astrodome Conservancy is in talks with philanthropies and other outside groups about contributing toward a renovation plan."

Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Houston Chronicle

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