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Park Report
August 20, 2004
Minute Maid Park
Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros

Final Score: 9-2, Chicago


Minute Maid Park... Cub of a Cub's Fan... The Infield... Boston's No More... The Outfield...
A Train that Runs on Oranges...Union Station...


Ticket Price:

$17 second row third deck right field

Public Transit:

Downtown location


$15.00 open lot across from park

Beer & Dog Price:


Best Concession:

Fajita Wrap

Minute Maid Park is the first major sports facility to feature a closed-captioning board for the hearing impaired.

Dominant Color:




100% but looked more like 75%




Unique Adjective:








Nirvana! An architecturally beautiful ballpark incorporating the city's past with the comforts of a modern ballpark. The railroad plays a significant role in the history of Houston and this park pays homage to that fact.

Believe it or not, Houston is the fourth largest city in the U. S. The advent of air conditioning led to its dramatic growth over the last fifty years. This park has a sliding roof that closes in twenty minutes and real grass. It is, in my opinion, the best of the new breed of indoor/outdoor parks. The passenger train no longer plays a role but the old Union Station is now the left field entrance to this park. Running atop the wall in the outfield from center to left is a steam train loaded with, what else, oranges. It may or may not "do something" when the Astros hit a home run, but it was not a good night for the Astros so I didn't find out. It's hard to believe that this edifice holds only 6,000 more than Fenway.

The outfield has all kinds of nooks and crannies making for unexpected happenings. They even have a "grassy knoll" (shouldn't this be in Dallas?) in center field, an uphill grass mound. A section of seats juts into the field from the left field line towards center creating a home run porch above the great out of town scoreboard. This scoreboard is permanent and shows all nine innings of every other game.

Something unique (I think) is the foul lines. Most foul lines are on dirt to the back of the infield and then on grass out to the warning track. Not here! The entire foul line is in dirt. I don't think any other park has that. Also, the entire park is a wi-fi zone. Why you would want to bring your laptop to a baseball game is beyond me but you could. Seats are angled properly, comfortable and have a proper rake. No cupholders. Fireworks during the National Anthem! Stock market quotes for local stocks (90% oil) continually on a panel out in left field and right field. Boy, oh boy, oh boy would this thing look good attached to South Station in Boston!

- Joe Wagg