Minute Maid Park, previously known as the Astros Field, is a ballpark situated in Downtown Houston, Texas. This ballpark opened in 2002 as the Houston Astros’ home, and it is Houston’s first retractable-roofed stadium. The Minute Maid Park was built to replace the Astrodome, which was the first-ever domed sports stadium in Houston. In 2002, the beverage brand Minute Maid, a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company, paid over $100 million to gain naming rights over the park for 30 years. In this article, we are going to know more about the Minute Maid Park and the things you should not miss if you’re watching an Astros Game here.
History of Minute Maid Park
Before Minute Maid Park was built, there was the Astrodome and Colt Stadium. However, those proved to be small for the growing fans of the Houston Astros. That is why the team asked if they could get a new stadium to fit in their crowd. Lo and behold, they were given the Minute Maid Park. However the ballpark was used to be called Enron Field, but when the Enron Corporation went bankrupt, it was renamed to Astros Field. in 2002, Minute Maid, a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company, decided to purchase the naming rights for the ballpark for a whopping $100 million.
The Minute Maid Park is Houston’s first stadium with a retractable roof, which brought a lot of excitement and attention before the park’s opening day. We cannot blame the fans because having the view of the city’s skyline while watching a game or a concert is something special.
The location where the Minute Maid Park is located is where Houston’s Union Station was located. This was a former railroad transport stop that played a big part in Houston’s development. That is why if you are going to Minute Maid Park, you should watch out for the train that is located on the leftfield side. This train also moves whenever an Astros player hits a home run, or the Houston Astros win a game. As a homage to the former train station, the ballpark’s main entrance is named Union Station Lobby and is designed to look like Houston’s Union Station.
The Minute Maid Park can accommodate about 40,000 people; it includes about 63 luxury suites and 5,000 club seats. Since its opening in 2000, the ballpark has been hosting the Astros game on a natural grass surface.
The Houston Astros have some plans on renovating the stadium. They want to add more food and bar concessions. However, they are still talking about if they are going to make any changes to the stadium’s seating capacity.
Things You Should Not Miss While Watching an Astros Game at the Minute Maid Park
- Taste St. Arnold’s Beer – This local brew is something you should not miss if you’re in Minute Maid Park. However, take note that this $100 beer doesn’t come in cans, so your beer might warm a little bit faster than expected.
- Taste Torchy’s hearty foods – An Astros game would not be completed without some delicious treats. Torchy’s is one of the places here at the ballpark that serves Houston’s best food. Aside from this, the Torchy’s Party Deck, which is located on the opposite side of Home Plate, is also a great place to hang before and after a game.
- Drink some Jim Beam Bourbon – If beer is not enough for you, then maybe you want some fancy cocktail? You do not have to worry because Minute Maid Park also serves some fine Jim Beam Bourbon, which you can sip while watching the game.
- Homerun Trains – As we mentioned, this train is located on the leftfield throughout the game, and it has a real train-conductor that moves it up and down the tracks based on the score of the Houston Astros. It gets really satisfying whenever you hear the train horn blow.
- Have some Instagram-worthy photos at the Astros Mural – What’s an Astros game without having to take some fantastic photos as a remembrance, right? The Astros montage located behind the center field of the stadium is something you should not miss.