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The structure was a technological marvel when it opened in 1965, the first domed, air-conditioned stadium. But since 1999, the Astrodome has been a nostalgic symbol of a bygone era. The days when Mickey Mantle hit home runs on AstroTurf, Elvis Presley swooned and crooned and Billie Jean King took on Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match are faded memories. Even the dome's most prominent recent residents 鈥?Hurricane Katrina evacuees 鈥?have been gone for years.
The county still pays some $2.5 million annually to maintain, power and insure the stadium. It's also paying $8 million to remove asbestos,Nike Air Max 1 Suomi, old ticket booths and exterior walkways. Though the building is structurally sound, the interior is decrepit. Last year, trash littered the aisles between torn, cushioned stadium seats once considered luxurious. A synthetic football field lay in a crumpled, dirty heap.
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