Texans, Rodeo Propose Astrodome Demolition Plan

The Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have developed a $66 million plan to demolish the historic Astrodome and replace it with a green space and "Astrodome Hall of Fame."

The Texans and the rodeo propose to have the project completed in time for the 2017 Super Bowl at neighboring NRG Stadium, the NFL team's home venue, according to a 37-page proposal obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

However, Leroy Shafer, chief operating officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, told The Associated Press that the plan is purely conceptual and there's no timetable for it.

The plan comes two months after Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who chairs the county's board of commissioners, asked the county-owned stadium's stakeholders to suggest what to do with it. The Texans and the rodeo have been eager to free up the space now filled by the derelict dome, which the Astros vacated in 2000. Opened in 1965, the dome was declared unsuitable for occupancy in 2009.

The plan has not been formally proposed to county commissioners, although they have been briefed, Shafer said. No funding source has been identified, he said.

"This has to be developed further, but it is one more option," Shafer said.

A message left with the Houston Texans was not returned.

The county commissioners have the final say over what to do with the Astrodome and no proposal is now before them, Emmett spokesman Joe Stinebaker said.

"Anybody has a right to make a proposal; this is just another one. The ball has not moved, and my guy remains opposed to demolition," Stinebaker told the AP.

Various ideas over the years to refurbish the Astrodome -- from water park to sports memorabilia museum -- have gained little traction.

The stadium's most prominent use in recent years was as a shelter for Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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