The Astrodome was a ballpark and stadium in the city of Houston, Texas. Also known as NRG Astrodome or Houston Astrodome, the stadium had a particularly unique design, and it is actually the very first multi-purpose domed stadium for sports ever built. This facility was so groundbreaking and innovative that it was often nicknamed “Eight Wonder of the World.” What makes this facility quite special is the fact that it actually ushered in a brand new era of design in terms of stadium constructions, not only in the United States but elsewhere around the world. Roy Hofheinz, the mayor of Houston at the time, actually was responsible for backing up the development of this facility, as well as helping secure funds for it. The construction of this stadium began officially in 1962, and the whole thing was completed a few years later so that the venue could open officially in 1965. Ever since its inception, the stadium served as a home to the Houston Astro, the local major league baseball team. The Astro has played at the Astrodome ever since 1999. Later, the Hoston Oilers of the NFL actually moved in and played at that stadium from 1968 up to 1996.
In addition to being the very first multi-purpose stadium, the Astrodome also become the absolute first major sports venue to install artificial turf, so much so that it became known as AstroTurf, a name that still stands to this day. If this was not enough in terms of innovation, the Astrodome announced what was known as the Astrolite, which was the first-ever animated scoreboard. The stadium continued to be improved and renovated throughout the years. It expanded in the late 80s, altering some of its original features, as well as enlarging the capacity of this iconic facility.
In addition to sporting events, the stadium hosted a wide variety of iconic concerts. The Jacksons performed there in 1984, and lead singer Michael Jackson was starting to become the most iconic and highly praised member of the group, leading to what would become an incredibly successful solo career. Elvis Presley, the King of rock and roll himself, performed six concerts between February and March in 1970. Although the later years are often considered somewhat of a decline period for Elvis, he still managed to attract a record-breaking crowd of over 200.000 people over the six nights. However, Elvis returned to the stadium in 1974, where he set a single-day attendance record as well! In addition to that, many other bands played at the Astrodome, including U2, as well as Genesis and Madonna, only to mention but a few.
The Astrodome also hosted a variety of other events, including various boxing matches, as well as WWE events, and even motorsports.
When it comes to the stadium, not so many facilities are so timeless and iconic as the Astrodome, which is still considered as one of the most important stadiums ever built, not only for the games that happened there but for the innovative features that forever changed the face of sporting venues all around the world. The Astrodome went through a revitalization project, which started in 2016. The plan was actually a disguised demolition proposal, as investors wanted to turn the area into a massive parking lot. However, the stadium was later declared a state landmark, meaning that the facility was not going to be able to be removed without approval from the local commissioners. The revitalization fell through, and there is still no new plan for the Astrodome.