On Saturday, June 8th, we spoke to a member of the ship's TPWD management team, who was kind enough to fill us in on the situation with USS TEXAS. The crux of what we now know is that the Texas State Legislature agreed to give the USS TEXAS another $35 million for further refurbishment under three conditions:
There have been many rumors about how and where TEXAS will go to get "repaired" and where she will end up once she is "repaired". BTF has recently published a video showing TEXAS surrounded by floatation devices, to help keep her buoyant during a move. We've been told that once she is moved from her slip it is believed she will likely take on more water than her pumps can handle and likely flood to her waterline. Artificial buoyancy is probably her best bet to prevent total loss. Ultimately, BTF is responsible for coming up with an effective plan, which we've been told they are working on now, with an eye to getting that plan approved by TPWD and the federal, state, and county authorities that matter.
What does this all mean for Texas BROADSIDE! 2019? We have consulted with both TPWD and BTF and a senior representative from both organizations have advised us to find another venue for Texas BROADSIDE! 2019. Both have assured us they will vouch for us and our event in our hunt for a temporary venue for the convention. BTF has assured us that when the USS TEXAS finds its new permanent home and is again open to the public that Texas BROADSIDE! will be welcomed back. In the meantime, we have begun the search for an alternative venue for this October. Once we have identified a new venue we will let everyone know where the convention will be held.
Our four goals in hosting Texas BROADSIDE! have always been to educate the public on military history, strategy, and tactics through wargaming, to provide a unique venue for war gamers to enjoy their hobby, to grow the wargaming hobby by introducing new generations to it, and to raise what funds we can to help BTF preserve USS TEXAS. Our mission to hold an annual historic wargame convention in Houston to achieve those four goals will continue no matter where TEXAS is or what state she is in. Therefore, in locating an alternative, hopefully temporary, venue we will search for and decide on the best location with those four goals uppermost in mind.
Please stay tuned and wish us luck in our search for a new venue for Texas BROADSIDE! 2019.