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Houston Astrodome Options Being Weighed

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The world’s first air-conditioned stadium needs a new tenant and a new purpose, now that it has been replaced by newer, more state-of-the-art facilities.

The Houston Astrodome was deserted by its NFL franchise, the Oilers, in 1996, its baseball team, the Astros, in 2000, and even Rodeo Houston left for better venue in 2003.

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation has heard proposals for a casino, a ski slop, a parking garage and a transit center in the past. One proposal even called for a huge indoor neighborhood, its draw being clean air.

The group is now negotiating a plan with The Astrodome Redevelopment Corporation for turning the dome into a 1,000-room convention hotel, according to the Dallas Morning News. The ARC has approached with a proposal once before, but it focused upon a space-related theme park with hotel rooms, movie theaters, restaurants and some retail space.

Recent studies have pushed the ARC away from the theme park idea and toward a meeting center and hotel. The group is still working to prove its concept and capability before any partners are brought into the deal.

Moving forward with this idea would most likely cause a riff between Harris County, which owns the Astrodome complex, and the city of Houston. There is a convention and 1,200-room hotel in the downtown area of the city, only seven miles north of the Dome.

In recent past, the dome has been used solely for high school playoff games, and costs approximately $1.5 million to stay open per year. It would run about $600,000 per year to simply keep it shut down, but there has not been any discussion of demolishing the facility. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers