HOUSTON – Walk near Minute Maid Park and you can feel the excitement in the air as the World Series champs get ready for the postseason opener.
The Houston Astros will host the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Friday.
While it may be a work day, there’s no doubt some may call in so they can catch the Astros.
Fans who have tickets to the game can enjoy the Astros Postseason Street Fests that will be taking place within Minute Maid Park. The gates will open at 10 a.m., and all ages are welcome. There will be live music from The Emotions on Friday and The Slags on Saturday.
People can get their faces painted, and there will be caricaturists, food trucks, inflatables, bar games, photo booths and stations where people can make posters for the game. The street fest will go on until 1 p.m. Friday and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
In the event that it’s nice and sunny, families who want to soak up some rays can hang out at Discovery Green. There are multiple restaurants in the area where fans can grab a bite and a drink before the first pitch.
For those looking for more of a bar scene, 8th Wonder Brewery will open at 10 a.m. to accommodate fans. The Astros-themed bar is a popular spot for many baseball fans.
“If last season is any indicator of what’s to be here, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, a lot of people and a lot of excited fans in the neighborhood. We’re ready to root on for the Astros,” said Ryan Soroka, president and co-founder of the 8th Wonder Brewery.
METRO said with all the postseason excitement, they are making a few changes to help ease congestion downtown. Since the game is in the middle of the afternoon, there may be some competition for parking between Astros fans and those who work downtown.
METRO said stops normally located along Congress Avenue from La Branch to Main streets will not be serviced. They will have “Go Astros” shuttles to pick up riders at two points along Congress Avenue and drop them off where the normal service resumes.
"If you are coming down to watch the game or one of the watch parties, (a) train to the game, a $1.25 each way is a great value,” said Laura Whitley, a METRO spokesperson.
The lots located next to Minute Maid park are available but in order to park in lots A, B and C, you must pre-pay.
There will be public and private parking around the stadium. The Astros suggest you read all the signs before parking. The team’s website also suggest that people look into parking at different hotels and restaurants, some offer shuttle services to Minute Maid Park.
If you wan to go to the game, there are still some tickets up for grabs. StubHub had standing room only tickets for about $50. Seat Geek had tickets ranging in the $60 range for standing room and section 400.
On Friday, all gates will open at 10 a.m.