Minute Maid Park
In the last ten years of the 20th century, many American cities replaced their baseball stadia with new ball parks. Often the new designs looked to the past for inspiration. In cities like Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Dallas, and San Francisco eclectic projects were started to re-ignite enthusiasm for the local teams by bringing the flavor of baseball's history to life through ballpark architecture.
>There are 297 toilets in the 24 men's rest rooms.
>The roof transport system is based on the same system that moves mobile rocket towers for NASA.
>It is more likely that the roof will be closed during a night game than a day game because during the day the sun holds down the humidity somewhat.
>The first game played in Astros Field was the Houston Astros versus the New York Yankees. These are the same two teams that participated in the first-ever game in the Astrodome on April 9, 1965.
>It is said that there is a remote control to operate the train and its whistle located in the team owner's box. It is not known if it has ever been used.
>The Houston Chronicle reports that in the first two seasons of operation, politicians and community groups requested 4,000 tickets for the suite set aside for public officials. The tickets were worth about $100,000.00, but the people in the seats ate $155,000.00 worth of food. Taxpayers paid for it.
>November, 2001 - With the collapse of Enron questions have been raised about the name of Enron Field. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority plans to keep the baseball park named Enron Field as long as Enron keeps making its $30,000 payments. How long those payments continue is up to a federal bankruptcy court.
>6 February, 2002 - KTRH(AM) reports the Houston Astros have gone to court to get out of the naming rights contract for what is now Enron Field. The Astros contend that being associated with the scandal-ridden company is hurting their image. Enron has chosen to keep making payments on the naming rights, in spite of its bankruptcy. The Astros worry Enron might try to sell those rights to someone else.
>27 February, 2002 - Houston Astros have repurchased naming rights to their ballpark from the collapsed Enron corporation. The team will pay Enron $2,100,000.00 to get out of the 30-year agreement.
>28 February, 2002 - Workers have begun the process of de-Enroning Houston's downtown ballpark. Just a day after announcing that the Astros will buy back naming rights to the stadium, crews descended on the park taking down the easy signs, and covering up the harder ones that will need special equipment.
>10 March, 2002 - KRIV (channels 26 and 27) reports that Compaq Computer is in negotiations to buy the naming rights to Astros Field. However, this is complicated by the fact that Compaq is in the process of merging with Hewlett Packard.
>28 March, 2002 - The Houston Astros eliminate the last remaining trace of Enron at the downtown ballpark. The "Enron Field" clock faces on the clock tower are covered up.
>5 June, 2002 - Minute Maid has been awarded naming rights to the downtown ball park. The juice company will pay $100,000,000.00 over the next 28 years. The unit of Cocoa-Cola beat out Landry's seafood, Conoco, Hewlett Packard, and mercifully, Gallery Furniture for the naming rights to what will now be called Minute Maid Park.
>23 July, 2002 - The first letter of the new "Minute Maid Park" sign is unveiled. Not surprisingly, it's an "M" illuminated by 240 feet of neon.
>20 August, 2002 - The new Minute Maid Park center field scoreboard is unveiled.
Comedian Conan O'Brien January, 2002
"This place is incredible. We didn't spend two innings in our seats, because we wanted to walk around and see everything it had to offer. We walked around the interior of the stadium . What a great place to watch baseball. I don't know that I've ever seen a baseball stadium I was more impressed with."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner, Rich McKay Houston Chronicle 16 May, 2002
There are three comments.
Minute Maid Park is a very UNDER RATED park. It is so unique and diffrent with the glass that slides out with the retractable roof to the arcs in left-center field. Also the hill down center field is different. A lot of sports writers and random people always say that the hill can cause a injury's and that it is "Stupid" well what about the wall at Wrigley Field thats made out of Brick that has Ivy growing on it. Its not padded and is more dangerous than a hill down center field which is by the way 435ft from home plate and its rarely hit that far anyway. But no one says anything about that. I am not dissing wrigley field because it is a Classic Park but there have been more injury's from the wall than the hill. I cant even remember the last time someone has got hurt running up a hill. If you get hurt running up a hill you probably need to stretch more. Also whats cool about Minute Maid is the Train that runs on the track from left to center field but I do think Minute Maid needs to improve on the food it is good but i think we need to have more BBQ or Mexican food at because that is Texas History. Also More Minute Maid Products other than that Love the park!
Andrew - Thursday, June 12th, 2008 @ 1:21am
We relocated to the Houston area in February of 2007. Being a sports nut the first thing I did was to go online & purchase tickets for my wife & I to games we wanted to see. We managed to get to four games only because we weren't able to get seats we wanted to more. We absolutely love everything about the park. Its design, seating, comfort,food and friendly vendors to name a few. We have been to ballparks such as Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Yankees Stadium to name a few. But thats comparing apples to oranges. Being Cubs fans first & Red Sox fans second, we are now Astros fans too. We will be checking our budget to see if we can do 2008 season tickets. Only thing is we would like to see a game with the roof open once in a while.
Nick Berbes - Saturday, January 5th, 2008 @ 1:40am
My first visit to the building was disappointing. While the structure is unique I found the receptionist at the entrance near the 3rd base entrance amiss in her job by reverse discrimination. While standing in a line of about 300 people with my wife to have her bag checked a black lady decided she didnt want to wait with the rest of us. She went and complained to the receptionist and told her she shouldnt have to wait to have her bag checked. She was simply escorted in after the receptionist gave in to her theatrics. I am very disappointed that the receptionist chose to make all the rest of us "white folks" stand in line. On top of that the gaurd that let her in didnt even have the equipment necessary to check her bag like what is required. I think comprimising the safety of everyone in there should not come second to someone complaining about not wanting to wait in line simply because they are black. I am reasonably sure that with a half decent lawyer a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be filed and easily won. I suggest that the employees of the facility treat everyone equal in the future. I will never return to this facility simply because of that receptionists actions.
Johnny - Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 6:05pm
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