The Astrodome under construction in 1964
The Houston Astrodome, seen here under construction in 1964, marks one of the top milestones in the world's history of public arenas, going back to the Greek Stadium at Olympia and the Roman Colosseum. The first "domed stadium" has made a significant cultural impact in the world. It hosted televised athletic contests, motorsports stunts, political and religious conventions, and hurricane refugees, in a massive, air-conditioned public space. And, while it may be the closest thing Texas has to the Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge for the public to gather on and marvel at, it is unappreciated by many Houstonians and highly underutilized for the people (as it has been for nearly two decades).

Recommendations to Improve and Increase Visitor Attractions for Houston

September 6, 2019

We will soon release a report with recommendations to improve and increase visitor attractions for Houston and southeast Texas, as it is projected to become the Third Largest City in the Nation and we believe it should rather set its sights on improvement and preparation for its growth, and strive to move up to Third Best by the time its population overtakes Chicago. This will be no easy task, as ten cities legitimately vie for the top five spots, and some unexpected ones are up for the challenge.

Some of the recommendations were already provided to Fair Park First on August 15, 2019, following a community meeting that was held at Fair Park on August 13, 2019. They are linked below, along with other valuable resources. [Note: A few notes in brackets were added to the Fair Park recommendations in the event that these ideas may be considered in Houston, where they have a similar challenge in the historic Astrodome.]

Chubby Carrier performs during the State Fair of Texas
Chubby Carrier performs during the State Fair of Texas. Houston and DFW have both neglected to promote interest in their music histories and have failed to do what other cities have done to better utilize music as an asset for residents and visitors. Austin called itself the "Music Capital (not just of Texas, but) of the World", and it will hold the title to the official State Music Museum. While it will be good for Texas and it will certainly increase visitors to Austin, it marks the shortcomings and missed opportunities of other Texas cities.

View Programming and Museum Ideas for Fair Park (provided to Fair Park First on August 15, 2019).

Also, view photos made during a survey of attractions in Oklahoma City in a Facebook gallery. The coverage is not yet complete, as we toured about half of the interesting sites, so a return visit is planned.

Note: The original work on this report was prepared for Dallas-Fort Worth, but at the Metroplex and Houston will one day be connected by high-speed rail (bringing the two closer together and easier to access than using some of the current options), it is apparent that Houston may benefit from the information, as both metropolitan areas are woefully deficient in making cultural resources available for residents and visitors.


We produced the Big 5 for Big D in August 2017. One year later, Dallas was on the verge of an important new development, new management for Fair Park, so we updated our five biggest initiatives for the future DFW Supercity. The five most important initiatives have not changed, but the ability to affect change may improve dramatically if Dallas and Fair Park First take the right course of action.

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The BIG 5 Address Obstacles and Challenges

This page posted: September 6, 2019

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