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Astrodome Renovation Plan Approved: Historic Venue On the Rise…Literally

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The vote was unanimous by Harris County commissioners on Tuesday, February 15, to move ahead with a redevelopment project on the Houston Astrodome to the tune of $105 million. The project would see the creation of approximately 1,400 new parking spaces by raising the ground level of the building by two floors.

The project having been given final approval, the ball will now start rolling on the initial plans which were previously approved in 2016 at a cost of $10.5 million. With the intent of making use of the facility for such things as conferences, festivals, and additional commercial uses, the Astrodome’s 550,000 square feet of space will become more versatile. The cost for the project is anticipated to be covered through hotel occupancy taxes, county general funds, and parking revenue.

Astrodome Renovation Plan Approved: Historic Sports Venue is On the Rise…Literally

Photo: Wikimedia

Vacant for 19 years now, the Astrodome facility first opened in 1965. A sold-out crowd consisting of 47,879 fans witnessed an exhibition game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees on Opening Day, April 9, 1965. The game was attended by President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird, together with Houston Mayor Louie Welch and Texas Governor John Connally. The toss of the first ball for the very first game played indoors was made by Governor Connally and the first official pitch was made by Dick “Turk” Farrell of the Astros. The Astros went on to beat the Yankees that night by a score of 2-1. The Astrodome has been closed to all events since 2009, and in 2013, voters rejected a bond package for renovations at a cost of $217 million.