The iconic Astrodome’s future is in the hands of voters, who took to the polls on Tuesday to decide the now-shuttered stadium’s fate. Voters will decide whether the building is worth turning into a convention center, or if it will head toward a likely date with a wrecking ball.
The decision lies in a referendum which would authorize up to $217 million in bonds to transform the Astrodome into a massive convention and event center and exhibition space, reports ESPN.
Officials in Harris County believe that the stadium will likely be torn down unless the ballot measure passes. In response to the measure, a coalition of local and national preservation groups banded together with a political action committee to pass the referendum.
Under the slogan “Save the Astrodome,” the group is urging voters to say yes to saving the so-called “Eighth Wonder of the World.” However, it may not be enough to save the stadium, which first opened its doors in 1965, notes ABC News. The Astrodome was home to Major League Baseball’s Astros and the National Football League’s Houston Oilers.
However, the massive building hasn’t been home to a sports team since 1999 and was closed to all events in 2009. Because of the lack of use, the landmark stadium fell into disrepair. However, it is still structurally sound, though it is lacking most of its stadium seats and AstroTurf, thanks to a “yard sale” and auction of memorabilia last Saturday.
Houston resident Wilton Schexnayder, who saw the Astros and Oilers play at the iconic stadium, told reporters that he will vote to save the Astrodome. The 62-year-old explained, “I think they should preserve it. It’s just a part of the history of Houston.” However, the stadium’s place in history may not be enough for the referendum to pass.
Michael Barry, a former Houston councilman, was an opponent of the referendum. He explained, “I love the Astrodome. It’s the memories of my childhood. But pouring good money after bad is a bad financial decision.”
Do you think Houston should save the Astrodome, or is time for the stadium to meet a wrecking ball?