Thousands gather to own a piece of Astrodome history

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by MALINI BASU

KHOU 11 NEWS

Posted on November 2, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 4:52 PM

HOUSTON – Thousands gathered at Reliant Park early Saturday for a chance to own a piece of Astrodome history.

The first two people in line said they arrived at 5:20 a.m. to get a first look at the items up for grabs in the sale and auction. The sale opened at 8 a.m., and the auction was scheduled to begin at 9:30.

Officials said that the distinctive rainbow colored seats, which were being sold in pairs for $200 sold out around noon with a limit four per customer. Buyers can still pre-pay for a new batch of chairs to be removed from the dome later this month.

Pieces of Astroturf from the Dome were also another popular item among fans. One foot squares being sold for $20 a piece sold out Saturday morning.

"We have the benches from the dugout that was in the Astrodome, and we also have some of the baseball lockers," said Leah Mastaglio, director of Even Services at Reliant Park. "One of the lockers is signed by Jose Cruz."

"We also have a store where you can buy some of the vintage staff uniforms."

Other memorabilia is on the auction block -- like turnstiles from the entrances and furniture from the suites looking down on the floor of the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Everything sold will come with a certificate of authenticity.

Voters will decide whether to save the Astrodome at the polls on Tuesday, but whether it stays or goes, Houston’s most famous building will still cost taxpayers. That’s because $5 million of the funds approved to build Reliant Center was instead used for the Dome.

If the Dome is saved by the passing of the $217 million bond measure, it would turn the facility into a new multi-purpose space for conventions, concerts, and other events. If the bond doesn't pass, the Dome will be razed.

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