Saying none of the 19 privately submitted ideas for repurposing the Astrodome met the required criteria, Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. officials said they will recommend converting the Dome into a massive convention and exhibition space, promising “a new Dome experience.”
Under the $194 million plan being recommended by the Sports Corp., the seating would be removed and the existing below-ground portion of the stadium would be filled in to create a street-level exhibit space of 355,000 square feet. The exterior of the structure would transformed into “an inviting green plaza,” officials said.
The proposal will be officially presented to Harris County Commissioners Court at its June 25 capital improvement projects meeting, though Harris County Ed Emmett’s office issued a statement saying sports corporation officials have briefed court members throughout the selection process.
In a statement released during the meeting, Emmett praised the sports corporation’s plan.
“The concept is excellent,” Emmett said. “It not only preserves an iconic structure, but it gives Houston and Harris County a truly unique and historic venue for conferences and events. Meeting planners around the world will want to use the space.”
Only on HoustonChronicle.com: Emmett’s plan to find alternate ways to pay the $194 million tab
In order to be considered, privately submitted proposals had to include private funding, must be compatible with lease agreements with the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, as well as the master plan of the Reliant Park complex. None of the ideas submitted by private groups or individuals met those criteria, Loston said.
Loston previously had said that some of the submissions were little more than ideas, while a few appeared to be professionally developed proposals.