AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 6 (Reuters) - An effort to save theonce-majestic Astrodome stadium in Houston failed on Tuesdaynight when voters rejected a $217 million bond proposal to turnit into a convention center and complex.
The vote means likely demolition for the Astrodome, whichwas called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" after it opened asthe world's first domed and air-conditioned stadium in 1965.
Harris County voters rejected the bond proposal with a 53percent to 47 percent vote. Proposition 2 would have allowed thecounty to issue up to $217 million in bonds to redesign andrejuvenate the once-celebrated stadium into a 350,000-square-foot facility with a 400,000-square-foot plaza.
County commissioners will vote on the future of thefacility, officials said, but a spokesman for Harris CountyJudge Ed Emmett said the judge, who championed the bondproposal, would rather see it demolished than abandoned.
The county sought viable private and public options for sixor seven years and those options were exhausted with the failureof the bond proposal, spokesman Joe Stinebaker said.
"Rather than leave the Astrodome sitting out in the parkinglot rotting, the judge would prefer to see it taken down," hesaid.
The aging facility has not hosted a sports team in nearly 15years after its baseball and football teams moved to newerfacilities, such as Houston's Minute Maid Park. The stadium hasbeen closed since 2009.