November 08, 2007
McNair speaks on Dome redevelopment

That sound you hear is another nail being hammered into the coffin of the Astrodome Hotel/Convention Center plan.

Texans owner Bob McNair opposes the most recent plan to redevelop the Astrodome because it conflicts with the team's lease that gives him exclusive rights to the premises on game days.

McNair said he is willing to listen to any proposal from the Astrodome Redevelopment Corp. as long as it doesn't interfere with Texans games at Reliant Stadium.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for our fans to get in and out of the parking lots on game days," McNair said after the Texans' practice on Tuesday. "We've invested close to a billion dollars, and our contract has been in place. There's no question that we have the rights to control the property on game days. And the rodeo has the rights on their dates."

The Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have opposed the $450 million plan that includes conventions and a 1,300-room hotel.

"A hotel would be in direct conflict with our games and when the rodeo is going on," McNair said. "You can't tell guests they can't come to the hotel on Sundays. That wouldn't be fair to them. It wouldn't be fair to our fans.

"At one time, the plan was to have conventions on game days. Nothing could be booked until we get our schedule, and we don't get our schedule until April. Conventions have to be booked three or four years in advance. It just won't work. And it's not just us. The rodeo has more events than we do.

"We bought the rights to control the premises, and they're asking us to give up the rights we negotiated in the lease."


McNair said he wants to make it clear he doesn't oppose the redevelopment of the Dome.

"We're trying to be open-minded about this," he said. "We'd like to see something happen that doesn't undermine our operation. They need to come up with a plan that's not in conflict with our operation and the rodeo's operation."

And if you can come up with such a plan that's 1) commercially feasible, 2) politically viable, and 3) not in conflict with the bidness of the Texans and the Rodeo, you're probably a lot smarter than everyone else who's had a hand in this. John McClain, and Swamplot have more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 08, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston