HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astrodome — the world's first multipurpose domed stadium — is likely to be demolished after local voters rejected a proposal to redevelop it into a convention center.

Voters on Tuesday did not approve a referendum that would have authorized up to $217 million in bonds to overhaul the stadium that once hosted both professional baseball and football games.

Houston-area government leaders had said the so-called "Eighth Wonder of the World" would likely have to be torn down if the ballot measure failed to pass.

Studies in recent years have estimated the cost of demolishing the Astrodome to be between $29 million and $78 million.

Opened in 1965, the Astrodome was home to MLB's Houston Astros and the NFL's Houston Oilers. It was spacious enough to fit an 18-story building under its 208-foot high roof. The stadium was also home to the city's rodeo and hosted concerts and other events, including the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King in 1973.

But it hasn't been home to a sports team since 1999 and has been closed to all events since 2009. While still structurally sound, the iconic stadium had fallen into disrepair. On Saturday, thousands of people bought stadium seats, pieces of AstroTurf and other items at a "yard sale" and auction of Astrodome memorabilia.

The stadium's most prominent use in recent years was as a shelter for Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

 

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