January 30, 2008
Dome lease negotiated

Astrodome Redevelopment: Not dead yet.

A group of entrepreneurs missed a Tuesday deadline for reaching a deal to turn the Dome into a convention hotel, but have negotiated a proposed long-term lease for the aging sports venue.

Astrodome Redevelopment Co. and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. will forward the lease proposal to the county attorney's office for review Monday, County Attorney Mike Stafford said.

The sports corporation can ask the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for input on the lease if the county attorney's office finds that it does not violate their rights, Stafford said.

"In reading the draft, we didn't see any problems," he said.


A letter of intent signed by the sports corporation and the company spelled out that Astrodome Redevelopment had to work out deals with the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- Reliant Park's main tenants -- and secure financing.

The deadline for reaching those milestones expired Tuesday -- in part because county officials had told Astrodome Redevelopment they needed more time to review financial and legal aspects of the deal.


Sports corporation vice chairman Charles "Sonny" Sowell said the group's proposal is not dead. "We hope they tailor it in such a fashion that (Reliant Park's) two main tenants will approve it," he said.

Leroy Shafer, the rodeo's chief operating officer, said the rodeo has been waiting for months for Astrodome Redevelopment to revise its proposal to make it more workable for the rodeo.

A consultant's report on the viability of Astrodome Redevelopment's proposal will be given to Commissioners Court Feb. 19, a county official said.

We'll have to see what Bob McNair thinks about this, too. I'm looking forward to that consultant's report. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 30, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston
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