Astrodome could get $270 million fix-up

Once touted as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the futuristic stadium might have a future as an events venue.

Jeremy Hobson: Officials in Houston are trying to figure out what to do with the Astrodome. Renovate it or tear it down. The domed stadium was once called the Eighth Wonder of the World, but it hasn't hosted a sporting event or concert in years.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports.


Newsreel Announcer: As the baseball season gets under way, the spanking new Astrodome is the new $31 million home of the Houston Astros.

Mitchell Hartman: That was 1965. Today it would cost $64 million just to tear it down. A consultants’ report urges more than $250 million in local taxpayer spending to renovate the Astrodome, host trade shows and science exhibits. That could hearken back to the early days.

Kevin Reichard: A space-age sort of atmosphere at the ballpark, the ball girls dressed as astronauts.

Kevin Reichard of BallparkDigest.com says other space-age domes soon followed -- New Orleans, Tampa, Minneapolis. Nowadays, though, team owners want retractable roofs.

Reichard: Baseball is a game where it’s played in the prime of summer, and people expect to have the sun shine on them and the grass growing and the smell of popcorn.

Seattle’s Kingdome couldn’t offer that, and fell to the wrecking ball. Reichard thinks Detroit’s Silverdome could face the same fate.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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