Home > Galveston County > Astrodome Debt Burdens the City – Nearly as Much as the Original Cost of Construction!

Astrodome Debt Burdens the City – Nearly as Much as the Original Cost of Construction!

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6955840.html

The following is the first few paragraphs from the Houston Chronicle article (link above):

“More than a decade after its professional football and baseball teams moved out, the Astrodome carries as much as $32 million in debt — nearly as much as the original cost of construction.

The debt likely would have to be reckoned with in any deal to redevelop the Astrodome, said Willie Loston, executive director of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, which the county created to run the Reliant Park complex.”

Harris County, which owns the stadium, projects that it will take another generation to complete the $48 million in debt and interest payments to get it off the books.

The debt is so complex and has been refinanced enough times that county financial managers disagree as to how much the county owes. A second estimate put the debt at $19 million.

Either way, local government is on the hook for millions of dollars a year in debt payments and operating costs for a stadium the city has deemed unfit for occupancy.

Debt and interest payments will amount to more than $2.4 million this year, according to a payment schedule for the higher debt estimate. The Astrodome’s manager estimates it also will cost $2 million for insurance, maintenance, utilities and security.

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