Houston Rodeo making plans to develop old Astroworld site

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor, Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is making plans to develop the old site of Astroworld, officials said Tuesday.

The Rodeo currently owns the 102-acre lot south of the Interstate 610 South Loop and north of Bellfort Avenue, between Kirby Drive and Fannin Street. It’s mainly used to provide extra parking for the annual event.

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Rodeo CEO Joel Cowley said in a written statement that organizers are in the early stages of planning the future use of the land.

“All plans are entirely conceptual at this point, but discussions have included building an event space that would enhance our annual show and provide a year-round presence that could serve multiple purposes, including educational exhibits, committee meeting space, fundraisers and event locations,” Cowley said.

Mister McKinney is in the business of promoting Houston history. He believes an educational component is critical because it’s something that will connect with families, giving a whole new generation a chance to make new memories.

“To be able to redevelop it into something the public can enjoy would actually be a good thing, beyond just a parking lot,” McKinney, of Historic Houston, said. “And with the new dome experience that's going to be happening in that space, the re-purposing of the Astrodome, the 8th wonder of the world, to be able house different things in there, too. Hopefully the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo puts something here that complements that.”

Astroworld, the theme park that once called the lot across from the Astrodome home, opened in June 1968 and closed in October 2005. During its opening weekend, more than 50,000 people visited the park, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

PHOTOS: Astroworld through the years

The park holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of Houstonians, who recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

What do you think should be done with the old Astroworld land? Vote in our poll below:

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