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Will Fire Affect Astrodome Future?
February 21, 2011
by: Bill Stamps
Last week's electrical fire at the Houston Astrodome is sparking debate once again about the facility's future. The blaze didn't cause much damage but did force the closure of a Houston Rodeo event being held next door at Reliant Arena. Bill Stamps has more on what happens next.
It wasn’t a particularly huge fire. But with the electrical system at the Dome and Reliant Arena interconnected, workers were forced to shut off the power there just in case. Willie Loston is in charge of day to day operations at the Dome.
"In order to make sure that there was no further damage that would occur in that switch gear room, I’m told that the decision was made to terminate all power to the switch gear room."
Without power at Reliant Arena the Houston Rodeo had to cancel an event for special needs kids. Leroy Shafer runs the Rodeo. He’s not worried about business being affected in the future, but still believes something needs to be done with the dome soon.
"We don’t like to see it sitting there empty. We don’t like to see it being in the middle of this entire campus."
For Shafer and the rodeo, it’s not so much a question of safety. It’s about wasting space that could be used for other things.
"Everyone who visits our show and everyone who visits the NCAA final four and all the activities that go around that will have be going around and I mean literally walk around the big closed up building."
Loston says the longer the county waits, the worst things are going to get.
"There are things that will continue to deteriorate if you don’t do something with the building. Not necessarily ending up with an event like this fire, but something needs to be done with the building."
The county is expected to decide on the Dome’s future later this year.