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 Houston Chronicle obtained a copy of the 37-page proposal. The newspaper reports that 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.
Leroy Shafer, VP & COO of HLSR, tells Local 2 the proposal has not been released yet. He says 72 columns will remain in the exact same position as the Dome's structural columns, commemorating historical moments at the Astrodome. In the center would be a massive green space.
Later this month, the Texas Historical Commission will make a final decision as to whether the antiquities designation will be placed on the Astrodome.
If the Astrodome is designated a state antiquities landmark, any proposals to alter or demolish it would have to be approved by the commission, making it more difficult to tear it down.
But Shafer says the designation would simply be one more step before anything is done with the Astrodome. He says they have exhausted every possible option to keep the Astrodome intact and the new proposal is an affordable option.
An official with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett's Office says the judge is opposed to any plans to demolish the Astrodome.
The proposal comes two months after Emmett asked the domed 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.
The Astros vacated it in 2000. It was declared unsuitable for occupancy in 2009.