Astrodome Renovation Plan Undergoing Financial Study

The future of the Houston Astrodome has moved from uncertainty to the Harris County Budget Management Office, exploring ways to finance a proposed redevelopment plan.  Voters will have the ultimate say at the ballot box as early as November.

Two weeks ago, the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation presented its vision for a 194 million dollar project dubbed THE NEW DOME EXPERIENCE. It included turning the inside into a multi-purpose facility that could be used for a variety of events. The exterior will be turned into a plaza with green space, restaurants and retail. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says right now, county money crunchers are vetting the proposal.

"The budget management office is looking at it, determing exactly what the cost would be and looking at financial options, and then they'll come back to us with a recommendation."

He says discussion on the elaborate project will be throrough but won't go on indefinitely.

"We're bumping up against a potential timeline of, I think it's sometime in August, if we're gonna get it on the November ballot as a bond initiative. And so, we understand that deadline."

Emmett says the budget office is exploring ways to finance the project, and the county attorney will then determine how soon the plan can be put on a ballot as a bond referendum.

"I've always said that anytime you're talking about spending upwards of 100 million dollars, close to 200 million dollars, that that's a bond issue and that would involve the voters. The facility belongs to the voters. It belongs to the taxpayers of Harris County so, ultimately what happens to it, needs to be their decision."

Commissioners could hear back on the plan in about a month.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...