Voters in Houston rejected a referendum on Tuesday to turn the Astrodome into a massive convention center, making it likely that the iconic stadium will be demolished.
The vote, which would have allocated more than $200 million to turn the world’s first domed stadium into a convention and event center, failed with 53 percent voting against, according to an AP tally after nearly every vote was counted. The final decision on the Astrodome’s future rests with Houston’s Commissioners Court — the group of local officials who manage Harris County, where Houston is located — but without tax dollars to repurpose the dome, it will most likely be demolished.
Some supporters have vowed to keep fighting to save the iconic structure, once labeled the “eighth wonder of the world.” Built in 1965, the Astrodome was the former home to the NFL’s Houston Oilers and Major League Baseball’s Astros, but no sports team has called it home since 1999, and it has been closed since 2009. The first multipurpose dome of its kind, the Astrodome can fit an 18-story building under its 208-foot-high roof. Officials say a final decision on the dome’s future will be made quickly, but did not give a date.