Monday, June 8, 2009

Houston Astrodome Documentary

In addition to collecting sports memorabilia, one of the other things I enjoy is watching sports documentaries as I like learning more about the history of my favorite sports. One area in particular that I am interested in is old stadiums like the Astrodome:

I came across a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the history of the Houston Astrodome which looks very interesting. The documentary is called "The Dome - A Documentary About the Life and Legacy of the Astrodome".

Here is the trailer:

The website for the documentary is

The site doesn't indicate when the documentary will be released, but based on the footage shown in the trailer, and interviews with people like Nolan Ryan and Bum Phillips, this should be a treat to watch.

I've always been interested in the Astrodome given its history of being the first domed stadium, and how it was considered so cutting-edge at the time it opened that it was called "The Eighth Wonder of the World". This documentary appears to have some great footage of the construction of the stadium, as well as footage of what the dome was like when it first opened.

We take such things for granted now, but I'm sure people were amazed at the "exploding" scoreboard which was the first to offer animated graphics:

The AstrosDaily site has a link that shows pictures of the entire "Home Run Spectacular" sequence. Apparently the entire sequence lasted 45 seconds which really annoyed the visiting teams. The site even has a link where you can hear the entire sequence complete with explosions, gun shots, steers, and fireworks.

I'm sorry I never got to see a game in the Astrodome. Fortunately its still with us, unlike so many other old stadiums that have been demolished to make way for newer venues.

It looks like one possible alternative for the stadium that is being discussed is to turn it into a film/video/sound production facility. The plan is to turn it into a soundstage which would be big enough to house entire movie sets. The proposal has been presented to county officials and is currently under review.

I think it would be great if the dome could live on and continue to be a viable facility instead of having it torn down as we've just witnessed with Shea

and the current dismantling of Yankee Stadium.

Its a shame to see these places that hold so many memories for so many people disappear. Hopefully the Astrodome will not meet the same fate.


JRJ said...

Cool pictures.
You're right - I hate to see these pieces of history come down. Tiger Stadium is finally falling this week. I guess it helps us appreciate Fenway and Wrigley more (if that's possible).

primosean said...

Believe it or not, Shea Stadium was initally designed to have a dome placed on top of it. There was two problems that kept Shea fom being domed. First off, the funding by the city ran out before they were able to encircle the entire stands of Shea. However, the real reason why Shea did not become domed was that when enigineering studies were done to determine if a dome could be added, it was found that the foundation of Shea Stadium would be unable to support its weight. In other words, the roof's weight would collapse Shea.

To be honest I still kind of like Shea Stadium the way it was. It may have not been the Ritz, but it had an identity of its own unlike other ballparks today.