The story of the Houston Astrodome

Adam Rothstein
2 min readJun 17, 2024

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The Houston Astrodome

The story of the Houston Astrodome is very unique. The Houston Astros were originally the Houston Colt 45s. The Colt 45s played at Colt Stadium from 1962 to 1964. There were many disadvantages to playing at this stadium. Other than the fact that this was outdoors, each foul pole was 360 feet away from home plate. This was a serious disadvantage to hitters. The Colt 45s needed a stadium that could handle the Texas Heat.

With a new stadium came a new name. On December 1st, 1964, the Colt 45s changed their name to the Astros. A few months later, the Houston Astrodome opened on April 9th, 1965. This was the first stadium that used artificial turf. Better known as ‘AstroTurf’. The stadium was a huge improvement for baseball fans. The seating capacity opened with 42,000 seats. The foul lines were 330 feet to right field, 340 feet to left field, and 406 feet to dead center field.

The Astrodome served as the main hub for entertainment in Houston. A few years later, the Houston Oilers joined the National Football League from the American Football League. The team played at the Astrodome from 1968 and 1996.

From 1966 until 2002, the Astrodome was the primary venue for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

From 1967 to 1968, the Houston Stars soccer team played in the Astrodome. There was also the Houston Hurricanes that played there from 1978 to 1980.

In addition to Rodeo, baseball, soccer, and football, the Houston Astrodome also hosted basketball. The Houston Rockets occupied the Astrodome part-time between 1971 and 1975. It also hosted other multiple notable basketball games, such as the first nationally televised collegiate basketball game — 1968’s “Game of the Century”. The game was between the UCLA Bruins and the University of Houston Cougars, and the 1989 NBA All-Star Game.

Other notable events include boxing, motocross concerts, and political events.

The dome closed in 2009, but it remains standing today.

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