Houston Astrodome Should Live On as Event Venue, Report Says

Astrodome Proposal

Vacant for more than a decade, the Houston Astrodome has seen better days. The longtime home of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team should live on, however, as a multi-use facility that includes an indoor park and various civic spaces, including private event spaces, according to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), which convened a national panel of land-use experts to consider the best future use for the now-defunct stadium.

Released yesterday, ULI's report advises Harris County to "create a bright future for the Astrodome by developing a grand civic space that communicates the can-do spirit of Texas, Harris County, and Houston to the world." Its vision would infuse the 50-year-old stadium with interior parks, gardens, and green spaces that could be the site for future festivals and events. Elsewhere in the facility, ULI recommends a museum commemorating the Astrodome's history, retail space, exhibition halls, a performance center, a climbing wall, jogging trails, and subterranean parking, among many other features.

County officials will now consider ULI's report in order to come up with an implementation plan and cost estimates.

"The commissioners and I will review the report over the coming days," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett of the Harris County Commissioners Court, Harris County's county government, said in a statement. "It's gratifying to me to see that even a large group of experts from all across the nation recognized the Astrodome as the unique and beloved asset that it is."

According to ULI, it would cost $242 million to build its vision, work on which it says should commence prior to the 2017 Super Bowl, which will take place next door at Houston's NRG Stadium.

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