New Dome Plan Has International Flavor

A couple of Houston natives say they've come up with the best idea yet on how to Save the empty Houston Astrodome. The latest plan has the support of the Hofheinz family.

The new vision is for the iconic facility to become Houston's "International Multicultural Dome", a space filled with international, ethnic, cultural and business organizations. It would also include an international bazaar and ethnic restaurants.

Ed Seale heads the "Keep the Astrodome" committee with his wife and says despite its run-down appearance, the Dome is in pretty good shape.

"So much of the things there that people look at and say, well, it's in terrible shape, certainly a lot of the old fixtures and seating arrangements, we're talking about things that are going to be taken out anyway. The structure of the facility is excellent. We're talking about refurbishing and putting in all new interior there, so just what the eye sees there at ground level is not really a good indication of what needs to be done."

Seale thinks the project would cost around $150 million , but isn't sure where all of that money would come from yet. He's meeting with Harris County officials on Monday, including County Judge Ed Emmett.

"The folks that we initially talked to with the cultural leaders here that work with the Mayor's office here and with a lot of the citizens, the Hofheinz family that we approached with this, feel that this is far and away the most viable plan they've seen yet."

There have been numerous similar ideas in the past that have died because of the cost involved in fixing-up the Dome. Last week, the Texans and Rodeo estimated it would cost about $29 million to demolish the nearly 50-year-old stadium.

 

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...