The Fading Astrodome

As most of you know, I’m a lifelong Houstonian. My family moved here from the Valley of Texas when I was a mere 3 years old. I’ve been blessed to live and travel elsewhere and always come back to the City I love.

One of the treasures of “My Houston”, is the Astrodome. I remember when it opened and the excitement that surrounded the uniqueness of this stadium. For the time period, it made Jerry Jones’ new Cowboy stadium look nominal in comparison. The celebration, the building and the aura were symbolic of a rapidly expanding, quirky Houston.

I went to Rodeos most of my life in that building and was able to see Elvis Presley perform – twice! When I was young and the family didn’t have much money, I would win reading contests that provided Astros tickets as the reward, enabling my family to attend games in the magical building. I went to circuses, concerts, baseball and football games. When I was older, my high school band performed at Oilers games. I was working at City Hall when Council Member Eleanor Tinsley passed the Ordinance to ban smoking in the dome, amid extreme controversy. I was sitting there when the Astros won the pennant. I was involved when the Katrina evacuees arrived.

I was so excited to take my “baby” to the Dome before it closed. It was the last Rodeo held in the building and we took him to see Bob Dylan. He was 11 months old. He doesn’t remember but we took pictures of him there as I knew it would likely be torn down.

Up to this point, I have withheld my opinion on the future of the building. But I am now willing to vent my frustration. Long familiar with the fact that we owe bonds on the building, I have spoken with many people regarding solutions and I have watched the discussions with great interest.

Finally, I have come to a conclusion. Just MAKE A DECISION ALREADY! This is one of those tough decisions that will forever change the course of the region but it must be made. Whether we tear it down or create something new and wonderful, we just need to move on. It’s like we have a broken relationship and neither partner can let go.

As of now, Commissioners Court and the Sports and Convention Corp. have decided to “study further”. Stop already. Let’s just make a decision and move on. More tax dollars spent on studies while the building further deteriorates is not going to solve the problem. Half the people are going to be unhappy with the decision, regardless.

Please, on behalf of this broken love affair, make a decision already.

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