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Archive for June 11th, 2013

Commentary worked on the winning stadium referendum back in 1996 that led to the construction of Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium.  The campaign assembled a coalition of a number of interests that included the Rodeo.  At the time folks knew that Downtown was the proposed site of the baseball stadium. 

In 1995 the Oilers had already announced that they were packing their bags and heading for Tennessee.   Since the Rodeo was a major tenant of the Dome they had to be brought on board and ballot language had to stipulate that their interests would be included.  Here is the 1996 referendum ballot language:

PROPOSITION NO. 1:  AUTHORIZING HARRIS COUNTY TO ESTABLISH AND OPERATE NEW OR RENOVATED STADIUMS, ARENAS, AND OTHER FACILITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL TEAMS PROVIDED THAT NO COUNTY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES ARE SPENT TO ACQUIRE, CONSTRUCT, OR EQUIP THESE FACILITIES.

Passage of the referendum would be a key factor in acquiring an NFL franchise.  The Rodeo uses the football stadium so they knew that if we were to get awarded a NFL franchise a new state-of-the-art football stadium would get built.   Politically it also helped that the Rodeo has an incredible reach with thousands of volunteers and supporters, and numerous partners and sponsors whose backing would be critical to passage of the 1996 referendum.

775,525 votes were cast in the Proposition 1 ballot measure and it prevailed by 16,421 – 51% to 49%.

In 1999 H-Town was awarded an NFL franchise after new owner Bob McNair put up a few hundred million to bring a franchise to the city.  The rest is history.

Commentary mentioned the ‘Stros’ number one pick of the 1976 draft Floyd Bannister.  Three players drafted in 1976 are now in the MLB Hall of Fame – name them?

Back to the Dome, in today’s hard copy of the Chron we are reminded of the influence, err veto power of the Texans and Rodeo on any major changes at Reliant Park.  Here are parts of the Chron reminder:

While the primary tenants of Reliant Park do not have veto power over development plans, they do have other extensive rights to the site under lease and legal agreements with the county. Even though Harris County Commissioners Court will make the ultimate decision about what to do with the iconic stadium, those rights "must be taken into consideration," said Edgardo Colón, chairman of the governing board of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., which oversees Reliant Park.

And:

Under a 2001 agreement, which officials say was designed in anticipation of Astrodome redevelopment, the Texans and the Rodeo are granted protection from any venture that would eat into their revenue streams, as well as exclusive access to all 25,000 parking spaces on game days, for the Texans, and to the entire complex for nearly three weeks during the rodeo.

Let’s not forget that a couple of months or so ago the Rodeo and Texans released a report on how much it would cost to put a wrecking ball to the Dome.  That kind of tells me where they stand.

The public proposals were due last night and the Texans and the Rodeo are on the informal review committee, the informal selection committee, and are sole members of the official veto committee.  That’s not a bad place to be.   They have both earned the power they yield on this matter. 

Hall of Fame greats Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, and Ozzie Smith of course were drafted in 1976.  (FYI:  Smith didn’t sign.  He was drafted again in 1977.) 

I don’t know what to say about winning six in a row and now losing five in a row.  It is not as if we are being blown out. 

 

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