The DougOut

The DougOut

Plan to Turn Astrodome Into Giant Expo Center

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation chooses not to tear down the aging Astrodome, but instead repurpose the old stadium into a giant expo center. 

A total of 19 private and public proposals were discussed, but the group opted for its own idea.

"The good news is our staff does not recommend demolishing the Astrodome," said Executive Director Willie P. Loston during Wednesday's announcement.

"We're looking at a space that will allow many of the ideas that the proposers brought forward to take place," he said.  "Nobody gets exactly 100-percent of what they wanted."

Loston said none of the 19 proposals met the HCSCC criteria.  A common theme however, was a love for the Astrodome.

"The Astrodome has a special significance to many members of our community, whether you were born here and raised here as I was," said Loston.  "Or whether you came as a visitor and inherited a love for the building and city like many of us have done."

The $194 million proposal will be officially presented to Harris County Commissioners Court at its June 25 capital improvement projects meeting.

In a statement released during the meeting, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett praised the sports corporation's plan.

"The concept is excellent," Emmett said. "It not only preserves an iconic structure, but it gives Houston and Harris County a truly unique and historic venue for conferences and events. Meeting planners around the world will want to use the space."


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