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Astrodome / Harris County Domed Stadium

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  • Astrodome / Harris County Domed Stadium

    I thought I'd post some photos of the early days of the Astrodome.

    Here's a few showing construction, a real grass field from 1965 and the awesome 474' scoreboard that used to span the outfield until 1988.

    There were a lot of really unique places in the Astrodome such as clubs and restaurants. I'll try to dig some up some of those photos if anyone is interested in me posting more.

    Does anyone else have any great photos of the Dome?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Here's a few more...

    The Countdown Cafeteria - A public restaurant located behind home plate that featured "Blast-Off" girls as waitresses.

    The Domeskeller - Stretched across the outfield wall and featured a mesh wire window so fans could see the field. It served up to 1,500 people per game. It was decorated in a German Beer Garden theme.

    Galaxie Gifts - This is the main gift shop on the Mezzanine (Orange seats, 4th level, first base side).

    The scoreboard - This photo shows the first words to be put on the scoreboard with the home run light display above it.

    Astroturf installation - The 1966 season opened with Astroturf in the infield and foul territories. The entire field was full turf by mid-season. The domed roof had to be painted in 1965 to reduce glare coming through the translucent skylights. This shot shows Astroturf being installed for the first time in the Astrodome for actual games. There had been a private test of Astroturf in January, '66 in the Dome.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice photos of the Dome. I know it's still standing but what do they use it for now?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Astros View Post
        The Domeskeller - Stretched across the outfield wall and featured a mesh wire window so fans could see the field. It served up to 1,500 people per game. It was decorated in a German Beer Garden theme.
        That was my favorite place to sit when it first opened and I was a kid. Wasn't a great place to watch a game, but like I said, I was a kid and didn't know better

        Liked it later on, around 1996, I believe, when they opened up Lefty's Pub down in the LF corner. Cheaper homers were hit into Lefty's than have ever been hit into the new Crawford Boxes, but nobody ever mentions that. Plus Drayton fed us free peanuts in Lefty's, hard to beat that!
        Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
        Astros Daily

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by driver62 View Post
          Nice photos of the Dome. I know it's still standing but what do they use it for now?
          Not too much right now. "Friday Night Lights" was filmed there and we all know about its role as a shelter for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. It is also used during the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as "The Hideout" which is a large indoor bar on the Astrodome floor. They used to have it under a tent in the parking lot but moved it inside the Dome a couple of years ago. The Astrodome Redevelopment Corporation is trying to finalize their plans to convert the Dome into a hotel/entertainment complex. No one in Houston wants to tear it down. Despite a somewhat cliche' opinion, the Astrodome is still very sound. Cosmetically it needs to be power washed and repainted in some areas but the stadium itself is in great condition. The air conditioning system is now 42 years old and would've needed upgrading if the Astros remained there. It also would've needed upgrades to the plumbing system. Here's photo taken last summer. You can see the covers over the "sliding pits" and pitcher's mound area. The field level seats are in football configuration. You can compare it to the 1965 photo. There are also three exterior photos 1965 (as it opened), 1999 (last year of baseball) and one taken last summer.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Astros; 05-18-2007, 07:38 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice pics Hall of fame Mets announcer Lindsey nelson broacast a few innings of a game from the top of the dome in 1965 C60

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Candlestick60 View Post
              Nice pics Hall of fame Mets announcer Lindsey nelson broacast a few innings of a game from the top of the dome in 1965 C60
              Bob Hope made his first visit to an Astros game in the Dome that same day...April 28, 1965.

              Comment


              • #8
                BUMP!!

                Here is a photo of Mets broadcaster Lindsay Nelson and producer Joel Nixon broadcasting from the gondola above second base.

                Photo from The Sporting News "Take Me Out To the Ball Park" (1983)
                Attached Files
                Last edited by sflnyc; 10-29-2007, 10:36 AM.
                Obladi, Oblada...

                July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Early gimmicks included spacemen who swept and vacummed the first ever "sports carpet"

                  Photo from The Sporting News "Take Me Out To the Ball Park" (1983)
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by sflnyc; 10-29-2007, 10:35 AM.
                  Obladi, Oblada...

                  July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    April 11, 1965

                    Photo from Astros - Yankees exhibition game. Leon McFadden is returning to dugout after tying up the game with a HR in the 8th inning.

                    Notice how the Yankees are watching the exploding scoreboard as this was the first time anybody had ever since something like this.

                    In those early days of getting used to new technology, opposing pitchers did not like it when the scoreboard told the fans to shout "Charge!", something that we take for granted today.

                    Some 188,762 fans watched the 5 exhibition games that weekend (Fri: NYY-HOU; Sat: BAL-HOU & NYY-HOU; Sun: NYY-HOU & BAL-HOU)

                    Photo from The Sporting News "Take Me Out To the Ball Park" (1983)
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-29-2007, 10:36 AM.
                    Obladi, Oblada...

                    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Photo from the early days illustrating the full dirt diamond and the grass field.

                      Photo from The Sporting News "Take Me Out To the Ball Park" (1983)
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by sflnyc; 10-29-2007, 10:36 AM.
                      Obladi, Oblada...

                      July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by driver62 View Post
                        Nice photos of the Dome. I know it's still standing but what do they use it for now?
                        on occasion it hosts high school football games between area teams
                        Houston Rockets
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                        West Champions:81,86,94,95
                        NBA Champions:94,95
                        Houston Astros
                        Playoffs: 1980,86,97,98,99,01,04,05
                        NL west champs: 80,86
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                        Houston Oilers: AFL champs 1960,61
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          dont they use the Astrodome for monster truck rallies sometimes?
                          :
                          St. Louis Cardinals
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                          1926-1931-1934-1942-1944-1946-1964-1967-1982-2006!

                          And next year, you don't even no what's comin'!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by St. Louis 093 View Post
                            dont they use the Astrodome for monster truck rallies sometimes?
                            The Astrodome continued to host monster truck shows, motocross, Wrestlemania, high school football playoffs and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo after the Astros moved out. These events shifted to Reliant Stadium in 2002 and 2003. They filmed many scenes for Friday Night Lights in 2004 at the dome and it hosted smaller events. George Strait's concert to close out the '02 rodeo marked the last major event held there. The 2005 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina marked the most people in dome at once since that last concert. Now there are huge plans to redevelop the Astrodome into a massive hotel and entertainment complex. The Astrodome Redeveloment Corporation and Harris County are currently trying to sort plans out so that the Houston Texans and the Houston Rodeo do not lose revenue during their events to the redeveloped dome.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Reviving this thread with some interesting Astrodome stuff from Bill Thompson's amazing Colt .45's site.


                              Colt Stadium in the background:




                              From the Colts' '62 yearbook - "Completion of the stadium is set for April, 1963." (ha):








                              '65 ticket brochure:




                              This exhibit includes construction of the Dome roof, and a shot of the Dome from within Colt Stadium:

                              A different classic baseball blog https://twitter.com/behindthebagbtb

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