Clash of the Titans: Hofheinz vs. Adams

Excerpt from an article by Murry Olderman
Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, August 19, 1965
Thanks to Darrell Pittman for this Contribution

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Readable Transcript of the Column’s Excerpted 1st Story:*

Hofheinz Seeks AFL Game

Judge Roy Hofheinz may have kept the Houston Oilers out of the famous Astrodome, and opened the door for an NFL invasion, but that doesn’t keep him from trying to turn a buck (,) has bid for the AFL All Star game to be held in the world’s largest air-conditioned playpen next January.

Here’s an idea of the finances it take(s) to keep the Dome going: each day the interest tab alone on the $42 million dollar structure is $3,450, and each day the air conditioning bill is $2,500 …

* Thanks to Mike McCroskey for research confirmation that the writer’s full name is Murray Olderman.

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The early days of he Dome were strongly a period in which the battle of egos between Judge Roy Hofheinz of the MLB Astros and Bud Adams of the AFL Oilers clashed. The public clamor was about rental fees for the Oilers at the Dome. Adams thought that Hofheinz was asking for highway robbery prices to take in the Oilers as tenants too so he worked out a deal with Rice University for the Oilers to play their AFL home games at the even larger seating capacity venue known as Rice Stadium.

Sure, money was important here, but geez, Adams was passing on the hottest new stadium ticket venue in the world, maybe even the biggest ever anywhere – to this very day.

Of course, it was about ego, and credit, and control. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve always felt that Adams had to shun any deal that Hofheinz extended out of the fear that everyone in Houston would see whatever terms they worked out as a victory for the Judge. I’ve also been among those too who believed that Hofheinz preferred losing the rent money in 1965 to working out any kind of deal that might make Adams appear to have taken control of negotiations by “appearing” to back out at the last moment.

And no, it wasn’t surprising when Judge Hofheinz pitched a bid for the January 1966 AFL All Star game coming to the Dome, even though he didn’t get it. It was just another message to Bud Adams from the Judge that he would have no territory that was safe from the Judge, if he could find a way to either get his foot in the door – or even provoke the NFL into invading the Houston market. And, had the NFL-AFL merger not come along to settle that even bigger clash of the titans, an NFL invasion through the Dome just might have happened.

The money and the moment finally got bigger than the egos of both Hofheinz and Adams and the Oilers finally joined the Astros in Houston’s “happening place” as tenants of the world’s “eighth wonder” in 1968.

Ain’t love grand!

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “Clash of the Titans: Hofheinz vs. Adams”

  1. Mike McCroskey Says:

    Google search of sport writers discloses a
    Murray Olderman. Looks like it could be a fit
    for the byline if your story.

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