501 Crawford St.
Houston, Texas 77002
ticket information call: (713) 6-ASTROS
Who Plays Here: Houston
First opened: March 30, 2000 (exhibition against the New York
First regular season game: April 7, 2000 (against the Philadelphia
First regular season indoor game: May 27, 2000 (against the Atlanta
Construction began: November 1, 1997
Style: Retractable roof
Capacity: 42,000 (March 2000); 40,950 (April 2000)
Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City)
Construction: Brown & Root (Houston), Barton Malow (Southfield,
MI) and Empire Construction
Owner: Harris County-Houston Sports Authority
Cost: $265 million
Public financing: $180 million, or 68 percent, from a 2 percent
hotel tax and a 5 percent rental-car tax
Private financing: $52 million, or 20 percent, from Astros owners;
$33 million, or 12 percent, from no-interest loan
Lease: 30 years (2000-2029); $7.1 million annually ($4.6 million
rent; $2.5 million to capital improvements fund)
Enron Field opened a new chapter in
the history of the "City of Destiny." After the Houston
Oilers split for Tennessee in 1997, the city got serious about providing a
state of the art, cutting-edge technology facility for their remaining
sports team. On November 5, 1996, the voters of Harris County
approved the construction of a new ballpark in downtown Houston.
Astros owner Drayton McLane, Jr., had considered selling the Astros to
Virginia businessman Bill Collins, who wanted to move the team to the
suburbs south of Washington, D.C.; but the promise of a new facility
stayed his hand.
The downtown stadium put the team closer to the center of the region's
population, and the classical architecture, natural grass and retractable
roof make it a pleasant place to watch a game. Enron has 50,000 square feet of glass in the west
wall of the roof, which provides the fans a view of the Houston skyline
even when closed. Seats along the right field and left field lines
are five feet from the foul line, which brings the game closer to the fans.
Another nice "retro" feature is the exploding scoreboard - the
biggest in baseball, this is Texas, after all - reminiscent of the famous
scoreboard that was removed from the Astrodome to expand the seating
capacity in 1988.
also boasts the first closed-caption board for the hearing impaired.
Field: Natural grass, bringing an end to the Astroturf era in
Minute Maid Park Firsts
Game- April 7, 2000, vs.
Batter - Doug Glanville
Hit - Doug Glanville
Home Run -
Stolen Base - Doug Glanville
Victory - Randy Wolf
Save - Wayne Gomes
Highly offensive ballpark, producing large increases in runs, home
runs and batting average. It
also boosted doubles and triples dramatically, thanks to the oddly-shaped
outfield walls and deep center field, and the minimum of foul territory
gives hitters extra swings at the ball. When the hot Houston summer
air fills the stadium, the ball carries substantially better than it did
at the Astrodome.
The park plays very easy on fielders, with good lighting and
well-kept grass. The quirky angle of Enron's outfield walls expose
defensive weaknesses, and allowed a massive increase in extra-base hits
here. The deep center field (435 feet) means that a center fielder
must be fleet of foot and get a great jump to succeed here. The
Astros play Richard Hidalgo here - he is solid, getting outstanding jumps
on the ball to make up for average running speed, and his arm is one of
the strongest and most accurate in baseball.
Extreme pull hitters can reach the
short porches in left and right without challenging the deep center field
wall area. Jeff Bagwell, a pull hitter, was unstoppable at home in
2000 - he
hit .353, with 28 HR and 72 RBI. On the road, he hit just .270, with
19 HR and 60 RBI. Last year, he hit 21 HR at home, and hit 18 on the
road; he hit .306 at home and just .271 on the road.
Meanwhile, Houston's other top hitters - Lance Berkman and
Moises Alou - didn't benefit as much from the home park.
Berkman did better on the road (.336, 13 HR, 56 RBI) than at home
(.327, 21 HR, 70 RBI), but don't expect this to continue.
Hidalgo had a lot more doubles at home (27 vs. 15). As for
Alou, he hit .341 at home, and .321 on the road; he
had 15 of his 27 HR at home.
A hitter with alley power has a
longer way to go than extreme pull hitters who can go for the foul
poles. No type of pitcher ought do well here, though power
pitchers who allow flyballs will be the worst off. Pedro Astacio
had a 6.48 ERA at home and a 3.99 ERA on the road.
Still, three Astro pitchers had lower ERAs at home than on the road -
Nelson Cruz, Octavio Dotel and Roy Oswalt.
the east side of downtown Houston at the corner of Crawford and Texas
Streets, adjacent to Union Station and near the George R. Brown Convention
Seats (Sections 112-126)
Seats (Sections 211-229)
Boxes (Sections 105-111 & 127-134)
Seats (Sections 205-210 & 230-236)
Boxes (Sections 100-104)
Boxes (Sections 150-156)
Deck (Sections 305-338)
Deck (Sections 409-438)
Deck (Sections 405-408)
Deck Children (Sections 405-408)
field: 315 ft.
field: 435 feet
field: 326 feet
triple factor in NL in 2000
highest run factor in NL in 2000
highest doubles factor in NL in 2000
highest home run factor in NL in 2000