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View Full Version : It's official: Fate of Astrodome to be decide by voters in November


Marcus
08-14-2013, 08:27 AM
Link (http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional/houston-voters-to-decide-astrodomes-fate/nZNfR/)

The fate of a plan to renovate the Astrodome, an iconic stadium that has fallen into disrepair since it was shuttered four years ago, will be in voters’ hands this fall.

Harris County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved placing a measure on the Nov. 5 ballot that will ask voters to authorize up to $217 million in bonds to turn the stadium into a giant convention center and exhibition space.
County commissioners said it was important that voters decide the Astrodome’s future.

They stressed that voters must understand that approval of the measure would lead to a property tax increase of about half a cent per $100 of assessed value. Officials said they will try to make that as clear as possible on the ballot measure. On a house valued at about $200,000 and with a homestead exemption, the tax bill would go up about $8 per year, officials said.

County Judge Ed Emmett said for those who care about the future of the Astrodome, whether they support revamping the structure or getting rid of it, “this is where it begins.”

“We have to give it to the voters. We can’t just leave the Astrodome sitting out in the parking lot like an old rusting ship,” said Emmett, adding that whenever he gives speeches, people ask him about the fate of the structure.

Emmett said if the ballot measure fails, the Astrodome probably would be demolished.

Regardless of how I feel, or how anyone else feels about what to do with the dome, I never thought I'd see the day where they'd actually let the voters decide.

CloakNNNdagger
08-14-2013, 08:45 AM
There is no clause to what happens if the referendum fails........therefore, there is no "then we tear it down" results........probably more thinking about it and more proposals until there is finally a true solution or a decision to tear it down.......at the last minute.

BullBlitz
08-14-2013, 08:51 AM
Link (http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional/houston-voters-to-decide-astrodomes-fate/nZNfR/)



Regardless of how I feel, or how anyone else feels about what to do with the dome, I never thought I'd see the day where they'd actually let the voters decide.

I've heard this story. Not that it's a big deal, but a half-cent tax per $100 on a $200,000 home is $10; not $8.

NastyNate
08-14-2013, 09:01 AM
I've heard this story. Not that it's a big deal, but a half-cent tax per $100 on a $200,000 home is $10; not $8.

And most assuredly no taxes ever go away. No new taxes, level the thing and be done with it... Or build a bitching wave pool!

Thorn
08-14-2013, 09:22 AM
Even though I rent an apartment, property tax does affect me in a minor way as it gets passed along to all the renters. I am against any public money going towards the Astrodome. Period. On the other hand, if this isn't passed, then Houston will doddle around for another four of five years trying to make up their figging minds. Somehow I'd just as soon go against my principles and vote for the tax increase just to get this issue a conclusion.

Playoffs
08-14-2013, 09:25 AM
There is no clause to what happens if the referendum fails........therefore, there is no "then we tear it down" results........probably more thinking about it and more proposals until there is finally a true solution or a decision to tear it down.......at the last minute.

That's dumb. There should be a clear cut decision to tax & build or just level it and plant a tree.

infantrycak
08-14-2013, 09:25 AM
I am against any public money going towards the Astrodome. Period.

The city owns it. They are responsible for it.

What you should be angry about is them trying to get a new tax instead of digging into the budget and finding the money to solve the problem.

Vinnie
08-14-2013, 10:01 AM
That's dumb. There should be a clear cut decision to tax & build or just level it and plant a tree.

My thoughts exactly. This really isn't leaving the Dome's fate up to voters. This is a "vote for this, or things stay the same". I second the leveling it and creating a park/green space/tailgating area. The problem with that option is it makes the most sense for the citizens, but there's no money in that for businessmen.

speedfreek
08-14-2013, 10:06 AM
If it does turn into a convention center, it will contribute to the city revenue when in use. (Mostly by the private businesses that would rent it out)

Anyone that's ever been to the GRB will realize there are exhibits that travel the country too large for it -- that would be quite comfortable in a gutted/renovated dome.

TJ

Vinnie
08-14-2013, 10:10 AM
If it does turn into a convention center, it will contribute to the city revenue when in use. (Mostly by the private businesses that would rent it out)

Anyone that's ever been to the GRB will realize there are exhibits that travel the country too large for it -- that would be quite comfortable in a gutted/renovated dome.

TJ

So we spend millions on renovating a dilapidated stadium for an event or two a year? That makes no sense. The city already has all the convention space it needs.

speedfreek
08-14-2013, 10:14 AM
I'm not saying I would have converted it into a convention center. I would have done something much different with it. But in terms of the city spending/throwing away millions, and getting nothing in return -- get used to it.

Lakewood Church, Astroworld property, Metro light rail, etc. etc.

And yes, some conventions can make millions in just a day or two (political party conventions can bring in as much money to the local economy as a superbowl..)

TJ

So we spend millions on renovating a dilapidated stadium for an event or two a year? That makes no sense. The city already has all the convention space it needs.

Vinnie
08-14-2013, 10:21 AM
I just don't see it. We're talking about $217 million. That would take an enormous amount of conventions to recoup, even super bowl size ones. I guess I'm a pessimist, but I just don't see this as a very viable option at all.

steelbtexan
08-14-2013, 10:35 AM
I just don't see it. We're talking about $217 million. That would take an enormous amount of conventions to recoup, even super bowl size ones. I guess I'm a pessimist, but I just don't see this as a very viable option at all.

Yep

Looks like BoB and HLSR are going to get their way.

A privately renovated dome could've been so much more. You should check out some of the futuristic designs that private developers came up with. But the HSLR/BoB/Politicians cant get their cut.

I will be voting for the proposal. Investing in the future is the only way Houston will become a place that people will want to visit. (The cost is less than a case of beer a yr) BTW, Will this be ready for the 2017 Super Bowl?

since02
08-14-2013, 10:38 AM
Tear it down.... Build a retail/food/shopping courtyard area with a houston sports museum in it.

TEXANRED
08-14-2013, 11:30 AM
$10 to save the dome? Where do I send in my money?

And for those who oppose due to them wanting public funding, remember they want even more public funded money to tear it down.

Hell you are paying for the damn thing now just letting it sit there. No matter what, renovate, destroy, or sit, you are paying for it.

Marcus
08-14-2013, 11:55 AM
And for those who oppose due to them wanting public funding, remember they want even more public funded money to tear it down.

I don't know where you got that from. Estimates are all over the map, but the highest I've heard so far is $80 million, and the most common is around $24 mil.

This "vote" is nothing but a charade anyway. Even I know that. Most of who will be voting, particularly in the suburbs, couldn't give a tinker's dam about sports venues. And just wait until the "no new taxes" crowd gets a hold of it.

This is all just a carefully crafted scheme to tear the thing down in a way that minimizes the political blowback.

Vinnie
08-14-2013, 12:20 PM
Hell you are paying for the damn thing now just letting it sit there. No matter what, renovate, destroy, or sit, you are paying for it.

Exactly, let's pay less and get it done with. If these renovations are done, not only will it cost more, you'll likely just have to turn around and renovate the damn thing again 15 years. It's time to stop the bleeding and be done with it.

Playoffs
08-14-2013, 12:36 PM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpqn3wnxCB1qca4iqo1_400.gif

Double Barrel
08-14-2013, 12:40 PM
I've been on both sides of this issue over the years. Lately I've been tired of hearing about it so I just said tear it down.

However, if you strip away the nostalgia, the fact of the matter is that the building is an asset to the city. Regardless of it's current state, the place was built to last a long time. They built that thing expecting it to be there a century from now. Structurally, there is nothing wrong with it.

I hate to see taxes raised, but I also hate to see something potentially useful and beneficial to the city be thrown away.

Kgbmedic
08-14-2013, 12:43 PM
If this passes I expect it to be renovated then sold to a private company,with the tax payers getting the raw end of the deal. You know like the toll roads.

Rey
08-14-2013, 01:01 PM
Turn it into a big shopping/restaraunt/bar/entertainment center.

Kind of like the galleria, but better. Bigger.

2012Champs
08-14-2013, 01:48 PM
If it does turn into a convention center, it will contribute to the city revenue when in use. (Mostly by the private businesses that would rent it out)

Anyone that's ever been to the GRB will realize there are exhibits that travel the country too large for it -- that would be quite comfortable in a gutted/renovated dome.

TJ




GRB is 1.8 million gross sqaure feet with 800k+ of convention space. Im pretty sure it can handle most of the conventions seeing as there are only 7 other spaces in the US with more convention space fwiw Reliant also has 700k feet of convention space.

For comparison sake the Dome has a gross sqft of 1mm. Gross sqft include all unusable space within the building such as stair wells, elevator shaft, columns, interior walls etc.

2012Champs
08-14-2013, 01:49 PM
Yep

Looks like BoB and HLSR are going to get their way.

A privately renovated dome could've been so much more. You should check out some of the futuristic designs that private developers came up with. But the HSLR/BoB/Politicians cant get their cut.

I will be voting for the proposal. Investing in the future is the only way Houston will become a place that people will want to visit. (The cost is less than a case of beer a yr) BTW, Will this be ready for the 2017 Super Bowl?




misguided BoB/HLSR hate, are you going to bring up enron again?

2012Champs
08-14-2013, 01:52 PM
Either way the tax payers are eating it.

Keep it and pay 200MM+ and the outstanding bonds


Implode it and pay 20-80mm and the outstanding bonds


the only issue I have with the tax hike as has been pointed out already is that it wont be undone after this is paid for

ObsiWan
08-14-2013, 03:35 PM
There is no clause to what happens if the referendum fails........therefore, there is no "then we tear it down" results........probably more thinking about it and more proposals until there is finally a true solution or a decision to tear it down.......at the last minute.

Tearing that thing down isn't free either. This article (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Rodeo-Texans-put-Dome-demolish-cost-at-29-4368256.php) says demolition cost is roughly $29 mil. Then there's the $30 million the county still owes on it....

Vinnie
08-14-2013, 03:46 PM
Tearing that thing down isn't free either. This article (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Rodeo-Texans-put-Dome-demolish-cost-at-29-4368256.php) says demolition cost is roughly $29 mil. Then there's the $30 million the county still owes on it....

That's still a far cry from the amount proposed to renovate it. Not to mention all the interest that will be accrued over the years as well as maintenance, etc. I just still can't see where there would be enough revenue and PROFIT generated to even make up the difference. Not to mention, we're eventually going to have to renovate Reliant down the road, that's not going to be cheap either. If the county has already sunk hundreds of millions in a failed project with the Astrodome you can forget about any renovations to Reliant.

Dan B.
08-14-2013, 04:01 PM
Well, if we wait long enough they'll "need" a brand new stadium to stay competitive anyway. It's been what -- 12 years since Reliant opened? Seems like stadiums have around a 30 year life span these days and shrinking if Atlanta is an example. So if we diddle around for 15-20 more years or so we can just tear the Dome down, build a new stadium there, and turn Reliant into the albatross.

Hervoyel
08-14-2013, 05:17 PM
So we spend millions on renovating a dilapidated stadium for an event or two a year? That makes no sense. The city already has all the convention space it needs.


What makes no sense is throwing away 9 acres of climate controlled indoor space because you've already decided that it will only be used for "an event or two a year".

I think they can book more than one or two events a year. In fact I think with the added space (space that will be enormous with a still extremely high ceiling and an unobstructed view from anywhere in the building) they'll be adding many events to the schedule every year.

This is the kind of thing sitting next to your stadium that begins to make a Super Bowl here unique and desirable on a regular basis.

2012Champs
08-14-2013, 05:48 PM
What makes no sense is throwing away 9 acres of climate controlled indoor space because you've already decided that it will only be used for "an event or two a year".

I think they can book more than one or two events a year. In fact I think with the added space (space that will be enormous with a still extremely high ceiling and an unobstructed view from anywhere in the building) they'll be adding many events to the schedule every year.

This is the kind of thing sitting next to your stadium that begins to make a Super Bowl here unique and desirable on a regular basis.




How much more convention space does houston need?

Double Barrel
08-14-2013, 07:05 PM
How much more convention space does houston need?

The more the better according to convention experts:

Cities with most meeting space attract biggest conventions (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/13/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-20120813)

What makes for a popular convention city?

Is it the size of the population or the quality of local attractions? No.

It's all about the amount of meeting space.

That's why Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas attract the really big gatherings, while Los Angeles continues to struggle to draw the mega conventions.

It's the conclusion of Cvent Inc., one of the nation's largest convention management and technology firms, based on the company's analysis of a year's worth of its bookings and other sales.

Cvent spokesman Eric Eden said cities that can offer huge meeting spaces and market the venues well are typically the most popular convention towns.

The GRB has nothing on the 3.2-million-square-foot (http://skift.com/2013/05/13/u-s-meetings-and-conventions-cities-who-gets-bragging-rights/) Las Vegas Convention Center..

BullBlitz
08-14-2013, 07:19 PM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpqn3wnxCB1qca4iqo1_400.gif

I would pay $100 to see that.

I'm tired of looking at the Astrodome. Take a final picture of this poor thing and make it disappear.

2012Champs
08-14-2013, 07:20 PM
The more the better according to convention experts:



The GRB has nothing on the 3.2-million-square-foot (http://skift.com/2013/05/13/u-s-meetings-and-conventions-cities-who-gets-bragging-rights/) Las Vegas Convention Center..


I don't think that article supports the more total space the better as the two cities it listed have 2mm+ sqft in the same placeWhat it suggest IMO is the amount of space in one area, plus 150k hotel rooms and a mix of business and fun push vegas up there. The Vegas advantage goes well beyond total sqft of floor space but for them having 2.1mm sqft all in one place would be something to Dome couldn't come close to. Grb is 800k, reliant 700k sqft the dome floor space is 140k I believe. Given the current set up in houston adding 100-200k sqft isn't changing anything. Now if you torn down the dome, grb and reliant and built 2-2.5mm sqft of convention space and added tons of hotel rooms maybe that would change something

ThaJokaa
08-14-2013, 07:25 PM
Raising taxes? I'll pass

utahmark
08-14-2013, 08:26 PM
I've heard this story. Not that it's a big deal, but a half-cent tax per $100 on a $200,000 home is $10; not $8.

They were adding a homestead exemption in there.

PHILLYTEXANFAN
08-14-2013, 09:17 PM
Just be glad Houston is atleast throwing around ideas for this to be resolved, up here in Philly, our school district is millions in debt, which no one seems to be able to vouche for, only answer they have is close multiple schools and cram kids into schools that are already overpopulated.

If you are wondering how this is relevant, like I said, just be glad the city wants to "attempt" something, not just kick rocks in a circle. My move to Htown may come sooner the way things are going here

BullBlitz
08-14-2013, 10:13 PM
Just be glad Houston is atleast throwing around ideas for this to be resolved, up here in Philly, our school district is millions in debt, which no one seems to be able to vouche for, only answer they have is close multiple schools and cram kids into schools that are already overpopulated.

If you are wondering how this is relevant, like I said, just be glad the city wants to "attempt" something, not just kick rocks in a circle. My move to Htown may come sooner the way things are going here

C'mon down bro. You will probably like it.

Blake
08-15-2013, 09:19 AM
Tear it down. Plant some trees and grass with a walkway through it. I do not want to pay more than that to renovate it.

ObsiWan
08-15-2013, 11:13 AM
Tear it down. Plant some trees and grass with a walkway through it. I do not want to pay more than that to renovate it.

Where will the cash com from to buy those trees. And who's going to get the contract to plant the trees. Oh and they'll need watering and pruning on a regular basis. And someone will get the contract to cut and maintain the grass and repair the cracks that will undoubtedly appear in the concrete walkways. And you've got to maintain police presense and pick up the trash that passersby will eventually leave behind when passing through...

Point is, nothing they do will be "free" or even cheap. If there are plans to recoup at least some of the yearly expenditures associated with any public place, then those plans/ideas/proposals should be seriously evaluated. ...oh and by someone that doesn't have a dog in this fight. Unless that "dog" is willing to foot the whole bill for the renovation... and maybe lease that land from the county to help pay off that $30 Mil bill.


yeah, I know... good luck with that...

steelbtexan
08-15-2013, 11:34 AM
$10 to save the dome? Where do I send in my money?

And for those who oppose due to them wanting public funding, remember they want even more public funded money to tear it down.

Hell you are paying for the damn thing now just letting it sit there. No matter what, renovate, destroy, or sit, you are paying for it.

If they want it torn down let BoB/HSLR pay for it.

infantrycak
08-15-2013, 11:44 AM
If they want it torn down let BoB/HSLR pay for it.

They don't own it.

Blake
08-15-2013, 11:44 AM
Where will the cash com from to buy those trees. And who's going to get the contract to plant the trees. Oh and they'll need watering and pruning on a regular basis. And someone will get the contract to cut and maintain the grass and repair the cracks that will undoubtedly appear in the concrete walkways. And you've got to maintain police presense and pick up the trash that passersby will eventually leave behind when passing through...

Point is, nothing they do will be "free" or even cheap. If there are plans to recoup at least some of the yearly expenditures associated with any public place, then those plans/ideas/proposals should be seriously evaluated. ...oh and by someone that doesn't have a dog in this fight. Unless that "dog" is willing to foot the whole bill for the renovation... and maybe lease that land from the county to help pay off that $30 Mil bill.


yeah, I know... good luck with that...


I never insinuated that it would be free or cheap. I simply said I dont want to pay more than tearing it down and placing some green. Renovating and remodeling will cost alot more and the upkeep would be alot more as well. I dont know how much business another convention center type place might get, but I dont think the costs are worth it.

Hervoyel
08-15-2013, 01:46 PM
I keep thinking that if you tear it down and pay the smaller amount you have what exactly? A green space? In the middle of a bunch of concrete? That brings in how much money? Either way people are going to be paying millions of dollars for whatever they do. You can pay to tear it down and be left with nothing or pay more and retain a historical building and asset that will serve a new purpose and enhance the functionality of the entire complex.

People crying about having to pay another $8-10 a year in taxes make me laugh. You spend more than that at lunch most likely any weekday of the year. The Astrodome has been a great investment for Houston. The entire Reliant Park complex brings in events and money that benefit the entire city. Reliant Stadium has brought us two Super Bowls (one yet to be played obviously). Investing in Reliant Park pays off. Investing in convention space pays off.

@2012Champs: The dome floor space right now is 140,000 square feet. After the seating is removed that will change to upwards of 350,000 square feet of column-free unobstructed space. surrounded by an outdoor plaza of over 400,000 square feet.

2012Champs
08-15-2013, 02:18 PM
I keep thinking that if you tear it down and pay the smaller amount you have what exactly? A green space? In the middle of a bunch of concrete? That brings in how much money? Either way people are going to be paying millions of dollars for whatever they do. You can pay to tear it down and be left with nothing or pay more and retain a historical building and asset that will serve a new purpose and enhance the functionality of the entire complex.

People crying about having to pay another $8-10 a year in taxes make me laugh. You spend more than that at lunch most likely any weekday of the year. The Astrodome has been a great investment for Houston. The entire Reliant Park complex brings in events and money that benefit the entire city. Reliant Stadium has brought us two Super Bowls (one yet to be played obviously). Investing in Reliant Park pays off. Investing in convention space pays off.

@2012Champs: The dome floor space right now is 140,000 square feet. After the seating is removed that will change to upwards of 350,000 square feet of column-free unobstructed space. surrounded by an outdoor plaza of over 400,000 square feet.




Other vast modifications would have to be made to make the seat space usable convention floor space and 350k sqft of convention space doesnt do much for the city

Hervoyel
08-15-2013, 02:25 PM
Other vast modifications would have to be made to make the seat space usable convention floor space and 350k sqft of convention space doesnt do much for the city

The cost of that conversion is in the bond issue we will be looking at in November.

350,000 square feet doesn't seem like much. Added to Reliant Center's 700,000 though it becomes 1,050,000 square feet and that does do something for the city.

Hervoyel
08-15-2013, 02:27 PM
I never insinuated that it would be free or cheap. I simply said I dont want to pay more than tearing it down and placing some green. Renovating and remodeling will cost alot more and the upkeep would be alot more as well. I dont know how much business another convention center type place might get, but I dont think the costs are worth it.


Got it. You think paying upwards of $30 million dollars for a green field is a good idea.

Blake
08-15-2013, 03:17 PM
Got it. You think paying upwards of $30 million dollars for a green field is a good idea.

If it gets rid of that eye sore next to Reliant then yeah.

Vinnie
08-15-2013, 03:22 PM
Got it. You think paying upwards of $30 million dollars for a green field is a good idea.

You're paying that whether you have a green field or a ****ty gigantic building. A green field will cost far less to maintain and might actually be of use to the citizens that are paying for it. When it's all said in done, we're talking about the bottom line, and I'll say it again, I just don't see where the dome will possibly be generating enough money to cover the price tag of the proposal, plus utilities, maintenance, salaries for administration, etc. In fact, I believe whole heartedly that it will lose enormous amounts of money. On top of that, Reliant isn't getting any younger and you know damn well Bob will be coming with his hand out for money for upgrades in a few years, where's that money going to come from after we've pissed hundreds of millions down the drain on the Dome?

2012Champs
08-15-2013, 03:27 PM
The cost of that conversion is in the bond issue we will be looking at in November.

350,000 square feet doesn't seem like much. Added to Reliant Center's 700,000 though it becomes 1,050,000 square feet and that does do something for the city.



I understand what the cost est is and the vote for more bonds


The added space will not help without ample hotel space to house all those folks

2012Champs
08-15-2013, 03:29 PM
Got it. You think paying upwards of $30 million dollars for a green field is a good idea.




And you think just because the city spends hundreds of millions it is going to make money. Guess what, the city could spend the tax payer money and the project could be a loser as well

steelbtexan
08-15-2013, 03:54 PM
misguided BoB/HLSR hate, are you going to bring up enron again?

Not hate. I dont hate anybody

Misguided how?

2012Champs
08-15-2013, 09:23 PM
Not hate. I dont hate anybody

Misguided how?


Nah you have some pretty solid hate for bob. You don't miss a chance to take shots at him or hlsr, you consciously type it out as BoB and your are more than misguided when it comes to tying in bob to Enron's collapse

NastyNate
08-16-2013, 11:38 AM
Got it. You think paying upwards of $30 million dollars for a green field is a good idea.

Can you name a tax that the city of Houston has put in place that they eliminated the next year? I can't either. This never goes away, and the giant herpe that is the Astrodome won't either. You might as well flush quarters down a toilet, because eventually you'll clog the toilet and you might get some of that money back. Unlike this where the city of Houston won't make a return on this investment.

Texan_Bill
08-16-2013, 12:00 PM
Can you name a tax that the city of Houston has put in place that they eliminated the next year? I can't either. This never goes away, and the giant herpe that is the Astrodome won't either. You might as well flush quarters down a toilet, because eventually you'll clog the toilet and you might get some of that money back. Unlike this where the city of Houston won't make a return on this investment.

Not a city issue. It's owned by Harris County. In fact it originally opened as: "Harris County Domed Stadium"

Hervoyel
08-16-2013, 01:53 PM
And you think just because the city spends hundreds of millions it is going to make money. Guess what, the city could spend the tax payer money and the project could be a loser as well

I think it has a chance to. The empty green field has no chance at all of doing so.

Hervoyel
08-16-2013, 01:55 PM
Can you name a tax that the city of Houston has put in place that they eliminated the next year? I can't either. This never goes away, and the giant herpe that is the Astrodome won't either. You might as well flush quarters down a toilet, because eventually you'll clog the toilet and you might get some of that money back. Unlike this where the city of Houston won't make a return on this investment.


Got it. They aren't getting your Whataburger meal this or any other year.

Vinnie
08-16-2013, 03:57 PM
I think it has a chance to. The empty green field has no chance at all of doing so.

And that's where we'll have to agree to disagree. I think it has no shot at all. If this goes through I pray I'm proven wrong. I'll grill the crow myself, bacon wrapped and seasoned heavily, of course.

2012Champs
08-16-2013, 04:08 PM
I think it has a chance to. The empty green field has no chance at all of doing so.





Thats a risk reward trade off now isnt it? A park isnt going to make you tons of money but its not going to possobly drain hundreds of millions in bond money and possibly hundreds of millions more after that.

Hervoyel
08-16-2013, 08:10 PM
Thats a risk reward trade off now isnt it? A park isnt going to make you tons of money but its not going to possobly drain hundreds of millions in bond money and possibly hundreds of millions more after that.

It is. Should the Astrodome proposal pass a vote (and to be honest I very much think the vote will doom the dome for once and for all) would you consider Reliant Park and the adjacent area "finished"? Would you be of a mind to consider continued improvements to the area?

See, I would. I think that more hotel space in the immediate area would be important. I'd want to find a way to work with the HLS&R to put the Astroworld site to better use. I'd like to see the Astro Arena come down (I'm not really sure if that's included in this plan/price. I don't believe it is) and that side of the parking lot developed into more than just acres of asphalt and painted lines. Near the dome there's a lot of space and potential for development and redevelopment. One of the earlier plans for the dome (one of the more expensive plans) had a large expansion of Reliant Center factored into it. I'd support tax dollars to do that. The bigger and better the complex gets the more it can be used for. The GRB isn't going to get significantly bigger. It may grow a couple of blocks in either direction but it won't cross the freeway or the street in front of it. It's sitting on terribly expensive real estate and is surrounded by stuff that's not going to be moved out. Reliant Park is surrounded by a lot of old apartments, old office buildings, one overwhelmed county facility on Murworth, a few strip centers, and a big piece of land on the other side of the freeway.

I think it has the potential to be the kind of area that with the proper development gets Houston regular legitimate shots at huge moneymaking events like the Super Bowl and enormous conventions.

That's what I think. You know that already. I know what you think and we're not ever going to get any closer on this. Come November you'll probably get what you want and I'll be disappointed. What else is there to say really?