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Minute Maid Park

History-inspired venue with innovative roof

Project Facts

Location Houston, Texas
Owner Houston Harris County Sports Authority
Capacity 42,000 seats


The Houston Astros’ home ballpark pays homage to the city’s vibrant railroad heritage. Though the train motif adds a touch of mystique, it’s the award-winning retractable roof that steals the spotlight. This remarkable feature, capable of closing in just 12 minutes, ensures fan comfort and facilitates the maintenance of a top-tier natural grass field, optimizing playing conditions for an exceptional baseball experience.

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About the project

Minute Maid Park established a new worldwide standard for modern retractable-roof ballpark design with regards to economy and delivery schedule, opening under budget and on time for the 2000 season, a rarity among retractable roof ballparks before Walter P Moore designed this, their first. The venue provided an intimate natural grass home venue for the American League Houston (originally National) and hosted the 2004 Major League All-Star game to rave reviews.

The ballpark’s 580-ft-span retractable roof allows the Astros to play outdoors on nice days but also protects fans from rain, humidity, and oppressive heat during the dog days of Houston’s summer. A 115-ft-tall moving-glass left field wall opens to create one of the major league’s most open retractable roof ballparks. 

Walter P Moore also provided all the project’s civil engineering, traffic engineering, and parking, which became a keystone in redeveloping a robust and vibrant downtown environment.

The first-ever retractable roof of an MLB stadium, Minute Maid Park, also marked the first of six retractable roofs structurally designed by Walter P Moore.

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2000 ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award

2001 ACEC National Honor Award for Structural Engineering Excellence

2001 ACEC TX Eminent Conceptor Award for Structural Engineering Excellence

2001 ACEC TX Award for Structural Engineering Excellence

2001 ASCE-Texas - Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Project

2002 AGC - Houston Chapter - Apex Award