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The Astrodome is falling apart

Jun 15, 2010, 2:28 PM EDT

Astrodome.jpgThis doesn’t get me as misty as seeing Tiger Stadium turning into ruins, but it stinks pretty bad all the same:

Hailed as the
“Eighth Wonder of the World” when it opened in 1965, the
Astrodome now sits vacant and in disrepair out on Interstate 610.

The world’s
first domed sports stadium lost its last major tenant eight years
ago. It hosted occasional functions afterward – a family rented
the floor for a bar mitzvah party for $15,000 – but has been virtually
shut down for two years. Its exterior metal work is rusting. Water
stains surround the base. It’s no longer
up to code.

There’s a lot of talk of what to do with it — indoor ski slope! planetarium! — but that talk always starts when people try to figure out what to do with old buildings. Those things are almost always pipe dreams, but I suppose entertaining such options, however ridiculous, are part of the grieving process.

But denial will soon give way to acceptance. And numbers: it would cost about $88 million to demolish the Eighth Wonder of the World, while it would cost about $900 million to renovate and turn into something useful.  As such, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the Astrodome doesn’t have long left.

  1. Cru11 - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Im sure sad to hear this. I am proud to say that I saw numerous games at the Dome and there is absolutely nothing like it. Truly one of the best stadiums the sport has ever seen.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Any HBTer’s from Houston around? I was there in ’93 and when I hear where Minute Maid Park was I could hardly believe it. Back then there was the Brown Convention Center then 15 blocks of nothing heading west to downtown. Looked like they had built during the oil boom and when the bust came, everything was ready and nothing happened.
    Of course Michigan and Trumbell was no garden spot during the 70s either, or for that matter River Ave.

  3. michael standish - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Anyone who can use the phrase “grieving process” in comments about the Astrodome is getting much better drugs than me. Please help.

  4. BB3 - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Seen the Roman Colosseum lately? (it once has a dome on it)

  5. Derek Fisher Looks Like Gordon On Sesame Street - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Maybe you could get like 300 helicopters, cut the roof off, fly it into the Gulf, and use it to block the leaking oil well.

  6. michael standish - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Makes sense to me; then again, I’ve recently been reading The Quotations of Chairman Bud.

  7. David - Jun 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Wow..,I grew up watching sports there…Saw Lew Al Cinder play Elvin Hayes (UH vs UCLA). Saw Muhamed Ali box there. Saw Bobby Riggs lose to Billy Jean King there. Saw Evil Kneivel jump there. Saw Nolan Ryan throw no-hitters there. Saw Earl Campbell Earn hall of fame stats there. Had my first beer there. Sad…if they can tear down Yankee stadium, I guess the Dome is toast.

  8. jimbeetle - Jun 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Any truth to the story that Hofheinz demanded very, very long dugouts because there would be more “behind the dugout” seats that he could charge higher prices for?

  9. Regular Guy Who Actually Paid Attention - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    David – wish I had the memories you have, but definitely glad I have a better command of English than you. It amazes me that you can manage “Knievel” (oh wait, you couldn’t) but not “Evel”, and can describe “Earn HOF stats” (no capital necessary for the word describing the accumulation of something from hard work) but not “Hall of Fame” (proper nouns require caps so we know that they are). Lew’s middle name was not Al, he didn’t “play” Elvin Hayes though he likely played a lot of defense against him, their respective teams played each other. Never mind Ali’s Muslim first name, most couldn’t spell it anyway and he only did that to avoid the draft (funny you didn’t refer to him as Cassius Clay). Must have been lots and lots of beers since that first one, stunting any possible post-youth mental improvements.

  10. SpankMonkey - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Who the f**k in Lew Al Cinder … too funny!!!!

  11. David - Jun 16, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Dude, whatever. If my waxing nostalgic was not up to your grammatical standards, too f*cking bad. It was 4am when I wrote it, and I was not up to my usualy self – you, however, are just an assh*le who has nothing better to do that write such supercilious replies online.

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