HOUSTON – Fans of the Astrodome brought their memories to a large party Monday night, inside the famed Dome.
The Astrodome Conservancy held the party, and at least 25,000 fans showed up, to hear music, eat some food truck grub, and mostly just stare at the cavernous space and relive their memories of the last time they saw a game or event there.
It was the 53rd Anniversary of this so-called Eighth Wonder of the World, which is about to gain a new life as an indoor park and event space for the County.
Commissioner’s Court in February approved a $105 million plan to renovate the Dome, and work will start in the fall, so this is the last time the Dome would be available to see it the way it was when it opened in 1965.
Phoebe Tudor, chair of the Astrodome Conservancy, said that this event was so popular that the 25,000 tickets sold out in less than two hours. Tickets were free, too.
Fans remembered when the Dome was the home of the Astros, from 1965 to 1999, and the Oilers from 1968 to 1996. In 2009 building inspectors ruled the building unsafe, and it has been closed since then.
The revitalization plan calls for an underground parking garage, with 9 acres of park space above at street level.
The new Dome will be available for festivals, conferences, and commercial space, according to County Judge Ed Emmett. It will also be a passive and recreational park, under an air-conditioned dome, another first for the city and the country. Emmett also envisions that the space can be used as an adjunct to NRG center, for boat shows, auto shows, and the Rodeo. Construction will start in October, and last for 17 months.