The Houston Astrodome, once dubbed the “8th Wonder of the World’’ as the first domed stadium with air-conditioning, hasn’t been home to a sports team since 1999 and stopped hosting events entirely in 2009. Now, Houston residents are debating what to do with the old barn, and one group thinks it has the solution.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, together with the NFL’s Houston Texans, have devised a $66 million plan to demolish most of the Astrodome, keep the “ribs’’ of the stadium to surround a public park, and build a tiny version of the Astrodome in the middle. The finished project would look something like this:
The tiny Astrodome would house an Astrodome Hall of Fame, while the open space would act as a conduit to and from Reliant Stadium, home to the Texans and to the rodeo. A proposal to convert the Astrodome into a convention center was rejected by voters in November.
Here’s an idea for those in support of a little Astrodome: don’t knock down the other one. Someday, when Fenway Park is no longer suitable for playing baseball, I hope they preserve the field and most old ballpark for hall of fame games and visitors. Knocking down Fenway to build a tiny replica version, just so patrons have a more direct walk from the Cask ‘n Flagon over to the REI store, doesn’t make much sense.