County OKs Astrodome Revamp

Initial funding has been approved for a $105 million revamp of the unused Houston Astrodome in Texas.  

Photo: AP Photo / Pat Sullivan
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett tells media gathered at the Astrodome in Houston Aug. 26 that he wants to turn the venue into the world's largest indoor park with hiking, biking and fitness trails on the upper levels. It would include spaces for festivals and concerts.

Harris County Commissioners Court voted Sept. 27 to spend $10.5 million on the project’s first phase. Plans call for the bottom floors of the Astrodome to be raised and the addition of about 1,400 parking spaces so that it can be used for festivals, conferences and other events across more than 550,000 square feet of air-conditioned space. Hotel occupancy taxes, parking revenue, and county general funds are expected to cover the cost of the redevelopment.

The Astrodome opened in 1965 but has been vacant for 17 years. It’s fallen into disrepair and was declared unfit for occupancy in 2009. Voters in 2013 rejected a $217 million bond for renovations.