HOUSTON - The Houston Astros began construction on the center field area of Minute Maid Park on Monday.
Construction is scheduled to be complete and the new center field area will 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.
The design of the 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 ballparks as part of the center field project planning process.
The original center field distance of 436 feet will 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 hit approximately 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 will remain essentially the same, with improved visibility for fans to enjoy the game from center field.
The renovation of center field will 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.
"From the best food, to where the signage is and how to maximize the efficiency of the ballpark, we take a survey from other teams and try to go best in class," Astros owner Jim Crane said.