HOUSTON – The Astrodome Conservancy hosted a news conference Thursday to discuss its campaign to create a community-supported vision for the reuse and redevelopment of the landmark.
Titled “Future Dome,” the campaign is asking for the public’s input through a series of surveys, engagement activities, informative materials, and public meetings. Future Dome will offer a variety of forums and venues for public input, including a series of virtual meetings, interactive online and in-person activities. The results of the campaign are supposed to be used to support an “innovative, feasible, and community-backed” approach to the reuse of the Astrodome.
The first Future Dome event will be a virtual public meeting on June 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. You can register at future-dome.com to reserve your spot at this free online event.
The status of the Astrodome remains unclear.
The Astrodome was built in 1965 and it was the world’s first fully enclosed, air-conditioned multi-purpose sports arena. According to the Future Dome website, the Astrodome is owned and maintained by Harris County but has been empty since 2009. The establishment has been named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and is designated a Texas State Landmark. There is currently no adopted plan for the future of the Dome.
In 2018, Harris County Commissioners voted to renovate the “Eighth Wonder of the World” as a multipurpose sports and events center and a parking garage, allocating $105 million for the project. See the plans for the project (PDF).
However, plans for the renovation seemingly came to a halt last year. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in 2019 that she wants the county to focus on criminal justice reform and flood control.
The status of the project remains in “demo” mode and no other updates have been posted at this time.