Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park, formerly called The Ballpark at Union Station, Enron Field, and Astros Field, is a ballpark in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States, which opened in 2000 as the house stadium of the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). The ballpark is Houston’s very first retractable-roofed arena, and features a natural lawn playing field. The ballpark was constructed as a replacement for the Astrodome, the very first domed sports arena ever developed, which opened in 1965. It is called for beverage brand Minute Maid, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, which acquired naming rights in 2002 for $100 million over 30 years. Since 2016, Minute Maid Park has a seating capacity of 41,168, that includes 5,197 club seats and 63 luxury suites. Houston Texas Information.
|Former names||The Ballpark at Union Station (2000)
Enron Field (2000–2002)
Astros Field (February–July 2002)
|Address||501 Crawford Street|
|Public transit|| METRORail:
Convention District Station
3, 6, 11, 20, 30, 37, 48, 50, 77, 137, 163, 236, 255, 256, 257
|Parking||Estimated 25,000 total spots within walking distance|
|Owner||Harris County-Houston Sports Authority|
|Operator||Harris County-Houston Sports Authority|
|Record attendance||44,203, September 26, 2001|
|Field size||Left field – 315 feet (96.0 m)
Left-center – 362 feet (110.3 m)
Left-center (deep) – 404 feet (123.1 m)
Center field – 409 feet (124.7 m)
Right-center (deep) 408 feet (124.4 m)
Right-center – 373 feet (113.7 m)
Right field – 326 feet (99.4 m)
Backstop – 49 feet (15 m)
|Surface||Platinum TE Paspalum|
|Scoreboard||54 feet (16.5 m) high by 124 feet (37.8 m) wide|
|Broke ground||November 1, 1997|
|Opened||March 30, 2000 (Exhibition)
April 7, 2000 (Regular Season)
|Renovated||2010 (Off season) 2017 (Off season)|
|Construction cost||$250 million
($371 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||HOK Sport (now Populous)
Molina & Associates
|Project manager||Schindewolfe and Associates|
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc. (Bowl)
Uni-Systems, Inc. (Roof)
|General contractor||Brown & Root/Barton Malow/Empire Joint Venture|
|Houston Astros (MLB) (2000–present)|
The biggest entryway to the park is inside what was once Houston’s Union Station, and the left-field side of the arena includes a train as tribute to the site’s history. The train moves along an 800-foot (240 m) length of track on top of the length of the outside wall beyond left field when the Astros take the field throughout the very first inning, when an Astros gamer strikes a house run, and when the Astros win a game. The engine’s tender is filled with giant oranges in reference to Minute Maid’s most famous item, orange juice.
In contrast to the ease of striking a house run to the Crawford Boxes, it was quite difficult to strike a ball out in center field, as the deep-center wall was 436 feet (133 m) from home plate and had held the top spot for active MLB ballparks for the deepest center field of any park in baseball. Fielding is a challenge there as well, due to the 90-foot (27 m) broad center field incline called Tal’s Hill, for former team president Tal Smith, an element taken from Crosley Field and other historic ballparks, and the flagpole in play, an aspect taken from Yankee Stadium prior to its remodeling in the mid- ’70s and Tiger Stadium among others. The hill and flagpole stayed in location until the end of the 2016 season.
The checking out group’s bullpen is housed totally in the outside left field wall, beside the Crawford Boxes, making it among the few bullpens in Major League ballparks to be entirely indoors. Although windows in the outfield fence use a view into and from the bullpen, its entryway is actually built into the side of the Crawford Boxes.
While Crosley Field’s notorious left field terrace, which was half as high (only 15 ° )as Tal’s Hill (30 °), was a natural feature of the site on which the park was located, Tal’s Hill is simply decorative. Both features have actually been held in equivalent disdain by center fielders. This hill has actually caused some of the most replayed catches in current baseball history, and plenty of controversy. Lance Berkman said, “If the ball rolls onto the hill, it’s not steep adequate to roll back, so you have to go get it. There’s the possibility of running into the flagpole that’s on it and getting hurt.” Fans began an online petition to get rid of the hill and flagpole, though the petition has since been stopped. On June 4, 2015, the Astros revealed that they would be removing Tal’s Hill as part of a $15 million remodelling for the 2016 season. The center field fence was to be relocated from 436 feet (133 m) (which from 2000 to 2016 was the longest in baseball) to 409 feet (125 m) from home base, however the center field restorations were postponed up until after the 2016 season, due a minimum of in part to the 2015 playoffs cutting into planned construction time.
A concourse above Tal’s Hill includes the “Phillips 66 Home Run Porch” in left-center field that is over the field of play, and includes a traditional petrol pump that displays the overall number of Astros home runs strike since the park opened.
The arena can be totally air-conditioned when required.
Minute Maid Park lies in Downtown Houston in a centralized area of the city, and available via a brief driving range on Interstate 10 (Katy Freeway/East Freeway), Interstate 69 (Southwest Freeway/Eastex Freeway), and Interstate 45 (Gulf Freeway/North Freeway). Street parking, garage parking, and private lot parking are readily available, with an approximated 25,000 spots within walking distance to the ballpark. Taxi taxis and pedicabs are also frequently found near the surrounding ballpark area.
Public transportation allows for availability via bus or light rail service. The METRORail light rail system has a station located one block south of Minute Maid Park, Convention District Station, served by the Green and Purple lines. The Red Line also serves the ballpark at Preston Station, six blocks to the west.
In 2017, the park and the entire city struggled with the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded lots of parts of the city with numerous feet of rain over four days. The Astros reported that in spite of water entering into the service levels of the arena, Minute Maid Park stayed in “good condition” when the storm cleared out. The remaining effects of Harvey forced the Astros to move their series against the Texas Rangers to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Astros returned to Houston on Friday, September 1 to assist the preliminary healing efforts. Minute Maid Park hosted the city’s very first post-Harvey sporting event, and the park’s very first double-header the next day in an interleague video game against the New York Mets.