HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros broke ground on their center field renovation project today, Monday, Oct. 10 at Minute Maid Park.
The new center field area is scheduled to be ready for fans to enjoy by Opening Day of the 2017 season. The renovation will include improved seating options, new food and beverage options, the addition of escalators and elevators to improve fan access and revisions to the playing field, including the removal of Tal's Hill.
Several items, such as dirt from Tal's Hill and the outfield wall pads, have been authenticated and will be available for purchase in the coming days. For more information on how to purchase commemorative collectables from Tal's Hill and the center field area, please email email@example.com.
The current 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 have 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.
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 ballparks as part of the center field project planning process.
Since Jim Crane's group purchased the ballclub in 2011, 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.