Board backs turning Astrodome into convention hall

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By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — A county board has recommended converting Houston's historic but deteriorating Astrodome into a giant convention center and exhibition space.

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. on Wednesday opted to go with its own plan for the world's first domed, air-conditioned stadium instead of one of 19 private-sector plans submitted for its reuse. The board says the groups promoting the private plans didn't meet the project's criteria by a deadline earlier this month.

The board's proposal would cost an estimated $194 million and take about 2½ years to complete. The plan now goes to Harris County commissioners, who will discuss it at a June 25 meeting.

The stadium once dubbed "the eighth wonder of the world" has been vacant since 2009, when it was deemed unfit for occupancy.

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