The Brownwood Economic Development Corp has accepted an offer from the Harris County Development Board to relocate the Houston Astrodome to Brownwood, replacing the Brownwood Coliseum in the process.
News of the agreement broke late Wednesday evening after Houston residents had expressed their displeasure with the recent plans of spending $105 million on renovating the Astrodome. According to BEDC board member Bobbie Joe Smithers the move won’t happen until early 2017, as preparations will take some time in both cities. “We have to demolish the Brownwood Coliseum before we can put the Astrodome there. The roof has leaked for a couple of years, and we really feel the structure has outlived its original purpose.” Coliseum seating, bathroom fixtures, and more will be available for auction sometime in December. “We think a toilet from the Coliseum would make a great Christmas gift for your in-laws.”
In Houston, the Astrodome will have to be strategically cut in to sections for easy reassembly at its new home in Brownwood. Once disassembled, it will be put piece by piece on to trailers pulled by Toyota Tacomas.
Once the move to Brownwood is complete, former Houston Oilers’ quarterback Warren Moon plans to be in attendance for the ribbon cutting. Moon states that some of his best memories happened inside of the Astrodome, and he’s glad that it’s found a quiet little retirement community to move in to while it waits to pass away. Smithers said that City of Brownwood officials will use the former Hastings location as overflow parking, with CARR to bus patrons to and from the Astrodome rather than tear down the Senior’s Center. “It’s a senior too, you know, like Mr. Moon said”
Harris County Development Board member Tran Thi Linh stated that she hopes this new plan will appeal to everyone, “we had planned to spend $105 million to renovate the facility and the public really didn’t want to spend that much. We put out some feelers to see if anyone wanted the Astrodome, and Brownwood reached out to us if we would pay for moving it. It’s only going to cost us around $65 million to move, so we’re saving the taxpayers $40 million.” Linh went on to say that she feels the Astrodome will be a great fit in Brownwood, “most of Brownwood is falling apart, so adding another building that’s in disrepair will look like it just belongs there.”
As part of the agreement between the two, the Houston Astros will travel to Brownwood once a year to play a game in their former home. Smithers explained the arrangements of the deal, “the Astros will take on the Howard Payne Yellowjackets baseball team in a practice game next spring.”
Linh also stated that the two boards are also working on a deal to relocate the Houston Livestock Show to Brownwood in the near future. “We really feel bad that most Houstonians, including myself, don’t know the difference in a bull, a steer, and a cow. We feel Brownwood residents would better be able to distinguish the difference, not to mention the livestock tends to develop respiratory problems after breathing the Houston air.”
While the deal has not been finalized, it appears imminent that a deal will be reached. Linh says Houston residents are ready to see the Astrodome removed, as plans to place a Petroleum Distillates Museum at the site are already in the preliminary stages. “With the $40 million we’re saving by moving the Astrodome, we’ll have plenty of money leftover to build a very nice museum.” Plans also call for a three story Luby’s to be constructed at the site. “We realize the irony of putting the National Museum of Petroleum Distillates next to a new Luby’s, but we assure you it was not intentional.”