February 05, 2004
Dome redevelopers want more time

Time for an Astrodome Redevelopment Update.

The Astrodome Redevelopment Co. has asked the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. to extend a deadline for its plan for a space theme park in the dome until after the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

"We thought it would be a great time to have our feasibility study take a look at that and see if we can coexist," said Scott Hanson, vice president of Trajen Aerospace, who is heading up the Astrodome Redevelopment Co.'s plan to transform the domed stadium into a mixed-use entertainment destination.

Compatibility with the current tenants at Reliant Park -- which include the rodeo and the Houston Texans football team -- will be crucial to any redevelopment plan involving the Astrodome, county officials have said.

The Sports and Convention Corp. is expected to take up the deadline extension at its Feb. 18 board meeting.

After selecting the Astrodome Redevelopment Co.'s proposal last fall to convert the 39-year-old building into an indoor theme park, hotel and retail complex, the board gave Hanson's group until Jan. 31 to demonstrate financial ability to complete the estimated $300 million project.

Willie Loston, executive director of the Sports and Convention Corp., said Wednesday that the Astrodome Redevelopment Co. had largely satisfied the corporation's basic requirements.

Those included providing basic financial information and proof of compliance with state laws regarding business organization.

"We're very encouraged and we have seen, really, nothing but positives ever since we started the process and have had very few, if any, setbacks at all," Hanson said.

Sounds like they're in pretty good shape, and they're making a resonable request. I can see the Astrodome from my office, and I'm rooting for these guys to succeed so it will remain a part of my landscape.

On a side note, there's a little graphic which shows that ticket sales for the 2004 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are down 16% from last year so far. This was briefly mentioned on the radio this morning, with the explanation being that it's the Super Bowl's fault. The radio newsie said that Rodeo officials expect sales to bounce back now that the game is over. We'll see.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 05, 2004 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

I heard the business about the rodeo on my trip to work as well. I wondered if the lineup wasn't partly responsible, but apparently George Strait hasn't sold out yet either, and he ALWAYS sells out, so maybe it is just Super Bowl related.

Posted by: kevin whited on February 5, 2004 8:49 AM