Minute Maid Park
Houston, Texas
Year Opened
2000

Current Team
Houston Astros

Affiliate
N/A

League
National League

Capacity
42,000

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2000
Normally I don't like domes. But this one feels right. Especially on a hot summer day in Texas. I visited Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park) on a hot Sunday afternoon, and was quite thankful for the air conditioning. Despite the roof, Enron Field is not a dark, dingy place to watch a game as most domes are. The large glass wall that extends from left field into center field allows natural light to pour in and make it feel more like an outdoor park than it otherwise would. The park is tucked nicely into a downtown setting. The builders did a wonderful job of incorporating the old train station into part of the park. This is located in left field and houses the team gift store. The lower concourse area is located in view of the playing field, though is a bit cramped, especially before and after the game. There is a nice array of concessions, though as with most parks they are a bit expensive. My biggest complaint with the layout of the park is the placement of the press box on the first level, thus taking away many good seats and obstructing the view from the concourse. As with other new parks, the employees seems to be a little too strict. Bags were checked closely at the turnstiles, and some ushers checked tickets before allowing you to enter a section. Parking near the ballpark is somewhat limited and expensive - expect to pay $10 or more to park close. If you attend a game with the roof on, be sure to stick around as they take it off almost immediately after the last out is made. It is quite a sight to see. Despite the large upper decks, Enron Field still has a rather intimate feel to it - more so than other "cozy" parks like Camden Yards and Jacobs Field. An impressive new facility that should serve as a model for any city needing to build a park with a retractable roof.
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All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
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