HOUSTON - There's a new campaign to showcase the Astrodome, and the organizers are counting on citizens to help push the project into action.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Astrodome Conservancy and Heineken USA are behind the effort.
According to a website dedicated to the push, the groups want to hold a "multi-day festival that will make the Houston Astrodome come alive in a brand-new way."
The groups have set a fundraising goal of $15,000. They hope to reach that dollar amount in two months. As of May 9, $2,650 had been raised. That is 18 percent of the fundraising goal.
The groups describe their vision for the project on the site: "The Astrodome Conservancy envisions a multi-day festival that previews the Astrodome’s future use by showcasing innovative public art, exciting sports activities, and one of the Dome's great strengths-live music. In this way, Dome lovers can experience this iconic place in a new light, and a new generation of Houstonians will get the chance to meet the 8th Wonder.”
"They're not trying to fund necessarily the Astrodome project itself. The county will be handling all of that. What this group is one of several actually that wants to use the Astrodome going forward. So they're already getting out ahead of it," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told KPRC2. "After the county finishes building a new floor and the parking, then (the groups) want to go in, and very similar to what's happening at Discovery Green and the zoo, and start maximizing the use of the other parts of the Astrodome. So they are forward thinking and they have a lot of great ideas about what to do."
Details about a proposed date for the festival were not provided on the website.
The festival would need the okay from Harris County officials.
"Whether or not we can accommodate this particular event that they're trying to put together just depends on timing for engineering and construction purposes," Emmett said. "Once the county can turn the Dome back into a revenue-generating source by renting the nine acres of coverage space, then the question becomes what are you going to do with all the rest of the building? I would love to get that off the taxpayers' plate and turn that over to somebody like a conservancy. Then we can use (the revenue) to upgrade the entire NRG complex."
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