It’s been 16 years since the Houston Astros vacated the Astrodome, and years since it was used as a concert venue. Lifeless, the Astrodome sits beside its younger and prettier replacement — NRG Stadium — waiting for someone to either put it out of its misery or come up with a workable use for its ample space. Meanwhile, many grow more curious about what the passage of time has done to the once grand facility.
In 2012, those curiosities were satiated when the Houston Chronicle sent a photographer on a tour of the Dome. The results are both amazing and depressing thanks to all the cobwebs, mold, and rust that can be seen. Something else that’s visible in the pictures is, according to Deadspin, an empty plastic cup in the control room. Now we know where it came from.
Back in 2012, before the Dome was opened up for a tour to check on its level of decay, one Reddit user and two of his pals went on an unadvised expedition into the Dome. They were armed with a cell phone camera and a few beers — including the cup left behind.
The results of this trespass were posted on Imgur, revealing the creepy sight of an unlit stadium and its abandoned bones. They also climbed atop the Dome’s famed roof and took photos of the surrounding area.
Before you’re tempted to take your own adventure, realize that this was years ago. The Astrodome’s security has likely been beefed up extensively — especially now that these photos have gone viral. Also, as the accidental urban explorer notes in his gallery post, trespassing is illegal. Don’t do it, kids.
As for what the future holds, it’s hard to say. A ballot measure that would have turned the Astrodome into a convention space was defeated in 2013, and now there is an effort to turn it into some kind of indoor park space. Regardless of whatever happens to the Dome, at least we’ll always have visions of Nolan Ryan’s high leg kick, the second Bad News Bears movie, and the man in the ice box.