Voting day was yesterday in many cities across the country. Most cities were more focused on electing a new mayor or Governor. In Houston, one of the biggest issues on voting day was whether or not to allow the famed Astrodome to live or die. By the end of the night, the vote to let it die won big!
Voters in Houston on Tuesday rejected a bond referendum that would have allowed Harris County, Texas, to borrow $217 million that it could then spend on turning the Astrodome into one very large convention and exhibition hall.
The vote was 53 percent against the referendum, to 47 percent in favor.
it’s likely the arena once known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” will be razed:
“County commissioners have said they would recommend the wrecking ball if the bond failed. ‘We’re going to have to do something quick,’ County Judge Ed Emmett said afterward. ‘We can’t allow the once-proud dome to sit like a rusting ship in the middle of a parking lot.’ ”
The Astrodome hasn’t been used since 2009, KUHF says. It opened on April 9, 1965, with an exhibition game between baseball’s New York Yankees and the local Astros.
There’s talk that it should be declared a historic site. As the Texas Historical Association notes, the Astrodome was “the first fully air-conditioned, enclosed, domed, multipurpose sports stadium in the world.”
Earlier this year, The New York Times wrote about how it “gave us domed, all-purpose stadiums and artificial turf and expansive scoreboards.”
Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs there in 1973’s “battle of the sexes” tennis match. The University of Houston and UCLA played in the dome in 1968 in what was then college basketball’s “Game of the Century.”
President George H.W. Bush was nominated there at the 1992 Republican National Convention. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Astrodome offered shelter to evacuees from Louisiana.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation includes the Astrodome among its 2013 list of “11 most endangered historic places” in the U.S.
it would cost about $64 million to demolish the Astrodome. Talk of it being torn down makes us wonder what everyone thinks.