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Reliant Park in Houston, Texas

Struggling with Aging Architecture


Historic architecture is problematic when venues become outdated for their purposes. Read more below.
Houston Astrodome (left) and hurricane-damaged roof of Reliant Stadium (right)

Houston Astrodome (left) and Hurricane-Ike-damaged roof of Reliant Stadium (right) in 2008

Photo of hurrican-damaged stadium by Smiley N. Pool-Pool/Getty Images, ©2008 Getty Images

Locals called the Houston Astrodome The Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened in 1965. The building's state-of-the-art architecture and technology formed the basis of what is now known as Reliant Park.

Reliant Park Venues:

  • Reliant Astrodome: opened April 9,1965 (architect: Lloyd and Morgan), one of the first professional sports venues to use Astroturf
  • Reliant Arena: opened February 14, 1971 (architect: Lloyd Jones & Associates), 349,000 gross sq. ft., fixed seating (main arena: 5,800; pavilion: 1,700)
  • Reliant Center: opened April 12, 2002 (architect: Hermes Reed Architects), single level exhibition building, 1.4 million total sq. ft. (590 feet wide; 1532 feet long); 706,213 sq.ft. total exhibit area
  • Reliant Stadium: opened September 8, 2002 (architects: HSC and HOK)
    Total size: 1.9 million square feet
    Seating Capacity: 71,500
    Field: 97,000 sq. ft. of natural grass
    Retractable Roof Opening time: 10 minutes
    Size of roof opening - 500 feet long; 385 feet wide
    Size of supertruss: 960 feet long; 50-75 feet wide
    Roof material: steel with Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric covering
    Hurricane Ike: damaged roof in 2008

Reliant Park Master Plan Analysis and Recommendations:

The Reliant Arena has become outdated—touring productions have outgrown the Arena's low ceilings and inadequate technologies. Likewise, the Reliant Astrodome, closed since 2008, has become insufficient next to the newer Reliant Stadium. The Astrodome is rich in U.S. history, however, including it being home to Louisianans displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2012, the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation (HCSCC) began the long process of analysis in order to form recommendations for the future of Reliant Park.

Learn More:

Source: Reliant Park Info, Reliant Park official website at http://reliantpark.com/quick-facts [accessed January 28, 2013]

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