Minute Maid Park Review

Minute Maid Park Review

Minute Maid Park

Frequent commenter Tight PP recently took a road trip to Houston to see the Astros play in Minute Maid park.  Pinch-hitting today for Mop Up Duty, you will find his review below.

 

Minute Maid Park, Houston Texas
 
I found myself in south Texas during Opening Week so I figured pop byy Houston for some NL baseball.
 
All I knew about MMP was what I had seen on MLB the Show for PS2. But it may now be the nicest park I have been to.
 
It is located on the edge of downtown – walking distance to hotels, restaurants, bars and the city transit train (like the one in Calgary). We walked a few blocks to Main St which is were the train runs and there are bars. Stopped at the Flying Saucer, a bar with about 300 beers, mostly American craft beers that taste like barf and oranges.  From the quick look I had at the city it was very clean, and looked like it has a lot of money.  No falling down skyscrapers like Cleveland and Detroit.  Even caught an old blues man working a street corner.
 
We headed back to the Park around 6pm, and entered through Union Station. It looks like the area was once a train yard, and that has been put into the stadium with the Home Run Train, and names of the things in the park.

Minute Maid Park
 
The concession stands have names like “Dining Car Grill” and “Union Station Favourites”. They mostly serve standard ball park fare, however there is a South/Texas touch with pulled pork, BBQ, fried chicken, Mexican and Margaritas etc. I did not try any so cannot make a comment on quality. The concourses are wide, bright, and they look nice.
 
Before the game we could head down to field level and try to get autographs with no hassle, even with upper deck tickets. Then wandered out to the outfield walkway in left field. The arches that support the retractable roof also allow fans to stand above the homerun line.  Not only the roof moves, like at Skydome, but also the Left field wall.  So when the roof is open it is not like you are sitting in a toilet bowl with the lid up, it is more like an open air stadium.

 
Our seats were in 2nd row of the upper deck above 1st base. $22 a seat and a great sight line. With the roof open you could look over the left field wall and see down town Houston.
 
The only downside to the park is the scoreboards. There is a video board in high centre field (which was somewhat damaged). Towards right field is 2 more scoreboards one which has the line ups and the other has ads. The bad thing is they are 1970’s style light bulb scoreboards. There was no replays and very little info given. Skydome gives so much more info on their banner boards. The out of town scoreboard is a hand flipped style in the left field wall.
 Minute Maid Park
This is one of the nicest park I have ever seen. It had great sight lines, was comfortable, nice to look at, great location, it is amazing how far retractable domes have come. I highly recommend it.  Its also nice to see a stadium that isn’t being fake retro.  I would like to see the domes in Arizona, Milwaukee and Seattle to see how the other new generation retractable roofs compare.
 
Also we had a presidential sighting, as Former President George Bush Sr, and Barbra Bush were put on the “Kiss Cam” as they sat behind home plate.  Quick Peck.

Panoramic Minute Maid Park
Andy Thompson (Tight PP)

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has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (@callumhughson)

  • Can’t believe you didn’t mention Tal’s Hill – next to the roof, that’s usually what people notice most.

    Union Station, which is attached to the ballpark and used as kind of a main entrance lobby, was originally a train station and was restored when they opened Enron OOPS I MEAN MINUTE MAID. The first floor is the lobby/shop, 2nd-3rd floors are conference space, 4th-5th are the club executive offices.

    The city looks clean because it turns into a ghost town after the work day is over – no one lives in downtown, they all live outside the loop. There is no natural urban character to Houston… anything that’s there now has been generated in the last 5-7 years in an attempt to drive after-hours business to downtown.

    And don’t worry – you didn’t miss anything with the margaritas. As a Texan born and raised, the ones they serve at the ballpark are an embarrassment. But the beer is good!

  • TIGHT PP

    The hill/flag pole is interesting, but it is so far to CF (436 feet)that it didn’t play a role in the game, Looks like its out there only because CF is so far.

  • Early

    The hill is stoopit.

    Someone tell me why it is there? What’s the point?

    And if the reason is to harken back to Crosley tell me why MMP wants to harken back to Crosley?

  • TIGHT PP

    I have read that there is/has been fan petitions trying to have the hill and flag pole removed. They do not want one of their beloved astros injured. Lance Berkman said, “If the ball rolls onto the hill, it’s not steep enough to roll back, so you have to go get it. Then there’s the chance of running into the flagpole that’s on it and getting hurt.” Tal’s hill is 30 degrees, Crosley was only 15.

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