HOUSTON – The Astros have confirmed conceptual plans for a proposed renovation of center field at Minute Maid Park following the 2016 season.
Construction on the new center field area would begin immediately following the conclusion of the 2016 season and would be ready for fans to enjoy by the start of the 2017 season.
The renovation will include improved seating options, new food and beverage options, the addition of escalators to improve fan access and revisions to the playing field, including the removal of Tal’s Hill.
Since Jim Crane’s group purchased the team, the Astros have renovated the Diamond Club, main concourse and Mazda Club Level, installed a state-of-the art sound system, refurbished the player’s clubhouse and workout facility and installed new grass on the playing field.
The multi-million dollar investment in the new and improved center field will be another exciting update that showcases the commitment to making Minute Maid Park a great destination for fans of all ages by providing a modern, communal gathering place for fans to enjoy before, during and after games all season long.
“We are very pleased to be moving forward with our plans to renovate the center field area of our ballpark and continue to improve the fan experience,” said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. “This project is our latest effort to make Minute Maid Park one of the most modern and comfortable venues in Houston. Whether fans are taking in an Astros game or attending one of our many special events, we are confident the updated center field area will provide a new and unique view of the action.”
The design of the new center field area was in partnership with MSA Sport and influenced by feedback from fans, current and former players and front office personnel. Astros executives also visited over 20 MLB parks in the Center Field Project planning process.
“Minute Maid Park has been one of the best sports and entertainment destinations in Houston for nearly two decades, and we are proud to partner with the Houston Astros as they continue to maintain and upgrade the ballpark,” said J. Kent Friedman, Chairman of the Board of the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority.
The current center field distance of 436 feet would move to 409 feet, moving Minute Maid Park from the deepest center distance to the sixth-farthest in the league. In 2016 alone, the Astros have hit nearly 10 balls to Tal’s Hill for extra bases, all of which would be home runs in the renovated center field area.
The seating capacity of Minute Maid Park would remain essentially the same, with improved visibility for fans to enjoy the game from center field.
The renovation of center field would result in a total of three new bar locations, four additional food locations and a premium group seating area at field level, creating the first and only field-level seating area available at Minute Maid Park.