The Houston Astrodome has sat empty for years and has been without a professional sports team in it for a decade. But it still stands, right next door to Reliant Stadium, legally unfit for habitation. It has to be demolished, right?
Sure, bit it’s gonna cost a king’s ransom to do it, and much much more than other previous stadium demolitions:
The 2010 study estimated the cost of demolition at $78 million, including $10 million for asbestos removal and $10 million to put a “plaza” on the site after demolition. That does not include the $29.9 million the county still owes on the building …
The priciest stadium demolition a Houston Chronicle examination found was $22 million for New York’s Yankee Stadium, which was completed in 2010. Indianapolis’ RCA Dome cost $13 million to raze in 2008. The Seattle Kingdome was imploded in 2000 for about $10 million, as was Giants Stadium in New Jersey, which was razed in 2010. All had seating capacities similar to or larger than the Astrodome.
According to the article, the higher price is due to the nature of the foundation, the proximity to the other football stadium, asbestos, etc. Experts quoted in the article are dubious, however.
In other news, the Astrodome cost $35 million to build, which in current dollars is about $250 million and change. And yet there will still be other cities in the future who will eagerly build stadiums, ballparks and arenas for the local nine, five and eleven.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.
According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.
Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.
While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.
Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.
More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.
Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.