/ The Houston Guide
Houston — By Christina Uticone on March 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm
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Major League Fun: Houston Astros

Spring is the air in Texas, and it’s on the baseball diamond, too!  Spring training for the Houston Astros is underway and Houstonians are looking forward to the April 4th home opener against the San Francisco Giants.  Whether or not you are a huge sports fan, attending a professional sporting event is an exciting experience, one completely different from watching on television.  In fact my first time seeing a major league game was an Astros game at Minute Maid Park back in 2006.

Here is some information to help you enjoy America’s Favorite Pastime right here in Houston!

The Ballpark

Minute Maid Park features a retractable roof that offers baseball fans protection from rain and/or our infamous summer humidity.  If you want to get a closer look at the facility you can take one of three tours offered Monday-Saturday at 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM.  Ticket holders can opt for one of the “Early Bird” tours that are offered prior to evening games.  The tours will let you see places normally off-limits such as the dugouts, press boxes, and luxury suites, while learning about the park’s historic past in the railroad industry.  Houston’s old Union Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was incorporated into the design of Minute Maid to celebrate that connection.

Tour-only tickets range from $5 (child) to $9 (adult); Early Bird tours range from $8 (child) to $12 (adult).

Game Tickets

Tickets are on sale now for the 2010 season and can be purchased individually or for an entire season; individual tickets start as low as $1 for children and $7 for adults, and up to $55.  In addition, there are a host of “Flex Pass” packages that allow you to purchase tickets in 6, 14, or 27 -game bundles for additional savings.  Some of these packages also include special features like “All You Can Eat” or “Division Rivals.”  There is a package option for every fan at every price point and they start as low as $42 for six games.

Concession

Speaking of food, you might be wondering “what’s for dinner” at Minute Maid Park.  There are more than twenty carts and concession stands providing baseball lovers with their favorites and then some.  In addition to hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and peanuts you will find fish tacos, burgers, pizza, fruit smoothies and more.  Some say it’s impossible to leave Minute Maid Park hungry!

Extras

Dog Day at Minute Maid Park: Sunday April 11th is the second-annual Dog Day where you and your pup can take in a game together.  Tickets start at $28 – one dog per human, please!

Batting Practice Viewing: For $75 you get a pre-game field pass and a chance to watch the Astros during batting practice – from behind home plate!  Click here for a schedule of games featuring this great offer that is perfect for budding sports photographers.

Budweiser Patio: If you want to skip the hot dog and sit down for dinner while you take in the game, make a reservation on the Budweiser Patio.  The $50-per-seat ticket includes a full-service meal, served tableside, as you enjoy your field-level view of the game.

Location: 501 Crawford St. (map)

Season: The Astros’ home opener is April 4th and the regular season runs through October 3rd

Transportation: Car or Light Rail.  Ample parking is available downtown in any number of parking garages.  If you prefer to leave your car at home you can use Houston’s convenient light-rail system, which is an economical $1.25 per person (one-way.)  The Astros website provides a comprehensive guide for fans that includes parking tips, directions, and garage locations.

Photo Credit: SXC (1,2)

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