The Astrodome is for sale. It is a poorly advertised, early morning sale - but a sale nonetheless. The gates to Reliant Park open at 6 a.m. this Saturday for an auction on everything that can and will go. Registration starts at 7 a.m., and at 8 a.m., pairs of seats go for $200 and a square foot of the turf costs $20.
For Houston's one global landmark, this auction seems awfully provincial.
The Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., which is running the sale, has been trying to convince voters that they should save the Dome because it is our symbol to the world.
If that is so, then why can't worldwide fans bid on the Dome? An online auction, instead of just a supersized garage sale, would let folks of all stripes collect that historic memorabilia. Bidding wars could drive up prices and those extra bucks would help soften the blow of the $217 million price tag for saving the Dome. Instead, it seems like the county is trying to gut the Dome as quickly and quietly as possible. It is hard not to see this as a handout to private collectors who will buy up all the memories and sell them later at a markup worthy of a world wonder.
Dome preservation supporters have touted an auction as a way to help pay for the end project. If this is that auction, then the Texans could be only the second biggest letdown at Reliant Park.