We may finally have an agreement for what to do with the Astrodome.
Entrepreneurs seeking to reinvent the Astrodome as an upscale convention hotel have reached a proposed lease agreement with the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., county officials said today.
But before the deal can become a reality, the sports corporation will enter into what are expected to be thorny negotiations with the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo over whether the convention hotel would violate their rights.
"We expect that when the rodeo gets this, they will have questions, and there will be negotiating and compromising," said County Attorney Mike Stafford.
The proposed lease was expected months ago, but it took the sports corporation longer than expected to work out details because the county attorney's office has been reviewing it carefully, Stafford said.
Commissioners Court will have final whether the convention hotel goes forward.
The court could decide to approve the deal without getting the Texans and the rodeo to sign off on it. But a top rodeo official has threatened to file a lawsuit if the rodeo believes that its rights are violated.
Whether the deal happens "depends on the will of Commissioners Court," Stafford said. "If their will is strong enough, I think this (proposal) will be carried out."
The proposed 50-year lease calls for Astrodome Redevelopment to pay the county $2.5 million in rent, plus 2 percent of adjusted gross revenues annually. Astrodome Redevelopment has estimated the county could receive about $6 million annually from rent and its share of adjusted gross revenues.
The rent would rise 3 percent every fifth year. And the county would receive 3 percent of adjusted gross revenues annually starting the hotel's sixth year of operations.