Mr. Speaker, as the Houston Astros lead their division, Houstonians can’t help but look forward to another exciting season of Astros baseball. As the home of the reigning champions, the people of Houston have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to remember.
Today Astros games are played in the beautiful Minute Maid Ballpark, however many of us old timers remember watching the team’s first game in the Astrodome in 1965. There was simply nothing else like the Dome. The players would stand in centerfield and try to hit balls straight up to see if they could hit the roof. It was a marvel for both the players and fans. It was the world’s first domed stadium, the only stadium in sports to offer luxury suites, and—since everything is bigger in Texas—the largest dome on Earth.
Home to the Houston Astros for three decades, the stadium has seen thousands of people from all over our country. But Mr. Speaker, baseball fans were not the only ones making their way through the iconic Dome’s doors. Elvis Presley performed seven times in the stadium, the Battle of the Sexes tennis match was played here, and the world famous Houston Livestock Show and Radio was held in the Dome for many years. Though the Dome has seen its fair share of cowboys, movie stars, and baseball players, perhaps its greatest moment was when it was transformed into a home for over 60,000 refugees fleeing the destruction of Katrina.
The Astrodome is not an abandoned baseball stadium; it is a part of Houston and Texas history. Nicknamed the Eighth wonder of the world, the Dome is a landmark loved by all Houstonians. Just recently it received its fitting designation as a Texas Historic Landmark. Though it has gone its many years without official recognition, the Astrodome has always been admired by those Houstonians and Texans who know its history. Now, the Astrodome takes its proper place in Texas history as an official Texas Historic Landmark.
And that’s just the way it is.