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Judge Ed Emmett’s Speech At the Astrodome Birthday Party

Aug. 26, 2014

If we were standing here 50 years ago, we would be in the midst of construction – construction of not just a building, but of a vision of the future. Today, there are many of us who believe this unique building can be used to create a new vision of the future.

Roy Hofheinz’s vision was based upon meeting a need. If Houston and Harris County were ever to get a major league baseball team, an indoor stadium was necessary. But Judge Hofheinz saw much more than a baseball stadium. He envisioned a venue for a myriad of activities that could be much more enjoyable indoors, under this dome. In developing his vision of a climate-controlled environment, he turned to experts and he endured the taunts of skeptics. In the end, the vision became a reality that changed the world of sports and entertainment.

Today, we have a different need. What should be done with this building now known worldwide as The Astrodome? It is certainly not needed as a professional sports stadium. It sits next to one of America’s premier sports venues, NRG Stadium, the home of the Texans and the Rodeo. Whatever decision is made regarding the future of the Dome must meet two criteria. First, the decision must be in the best interest of the owners, the taxpayers of Harris County. And second, the decision must be part of a plan to make the entire NRG complex a better venue for events and recreation.

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ASTROTURF: Then, Now and Possibly Again

By Mike Acosta

A dream came true on April 9, 1965 for Houston Astros President Roy Hofheinz. Three years of construction and planning came down to this one day where the eyes of the world would bestow upon Space City, Texas as a new era of sports was formally introduced with the opening of the Astrodome.  While Houston’s entry into Major League Baseball began as the Colt .45’s in 1962, they now emerged as the Astros, complete with stars in their eyes as well as their uniforms. Houston was in the spotlight of the world.  Hofheinz, creator of the Harris County Domed Stadium, had every right to stand proud as the gates opened to the masses for the very first time. . . .


Mike Acosta is the team historian and Authentication Manager for the Houston Astros and one of the world’s top authorities on the Astrodome.