This board has long been dubious of bond measures put up before the voters with little-to-no explanation. These measures are often confounded in confusing, opaque language. The end result, unfortunately, is giving a blank check to the government to spend money on poorly-defined goals for poorly-defined reasons.
The recent plan to renovate the Astrodome is not one of these situations, however. After many years of continued limbo for the hallowed structure, this board has been pleased to finally see a meticulously detailed proposal come together. This proposal will convert the Astrodome into a multipurpose convention center, on par with the George R. Brown. The proponents of this measure have also been unrelenting in advocating for their position, raising awareness throughout the County for the important measure. We have been especially elated to hear that, already, major conferences and organizations have come together to pledge their intent to hold conferences at the Astrodome.
While an eventual demise is simply part of the lifespan for many sports arenas, this board believes the Astrodome is different. While Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium hold the secrets and traditions of their respective ballteams, the Astrodome has never been about the Astros. Instead, it has been about the structure itself, the first of its kind in the world. The Astrodome set the stage for a future of ubiquitous indoor or retractable-roof stadiums throughout the South. Never again would sports fans in Houston be required to suffer through a scalding summer in an outdoor stadium.
While this board believes even a meager property tax increase will be painful and excessive for many residents of Harris County, we could not think of many better investments than the Astrodome referendum. The roughly $200 Million spent by the county will be made up many times over as the economy of Houston is benefited from conferences held at this new center.
Accordingly, this board endorses the Harris County Proposition colloquially known as the “Astrodome rerendum.”
The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey & Noah M. Horwitz of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans.