Minute Maid Park in 2012: cheaper tickets, cheaper beer, new outside food and beverage policy.

The day that Jim Crane officially became the owner of the Houston Astros, he hinted that several changes were on the way that would benefit fans in 2012.

This wasn’t just window dressing. Asked during the press conference in November if those changes included lowering ticket prices, Crane indicated that was indeed the area that he and President/CEO George Postolos would be focusing their attention on in the immediate future.

Turns out, Crane consulted with the staff on these issues even before he took over as the Astros’ owner. And now, less than three months before Opening Day, a comprehensive plan has been put in place.

Ticket prices for more 5,000 seats have been lowered, and more affordable beer prices will be offered throughout the ballpark. And for the first time since Minute Maid Park opened, fans will be permitted to bring in their own food and beverages.

“We feel this is the right thing to do,” Crane said. “It is a way for us to let our fans know how vital they are to our success, and to let them know we’ve been listening to them.”

From the get-go, Crane has been open-minded about fan ideas and suggestions. He has attended several meet and greets throughout January with season ticket holders, and many of the decisions made to lower prices and allow outside food and drink were made after hearing the feedback from the fans.

Here’s the skinny:

Tickets:

The Astros reduced the price of seats in the Field and Club levels and the Outfield Deck.

Seats in Field Box II (section 132, rows 11-40 and all of sections 133-134) are now priced at $29, down from $41 in 2011. The new Power Club (sections 233-236) in the Club Level offers tickets for $35 that includes a $15 credit for food, beverage and retail items. Those seats were $46 in 2011 with no food credit.

The Outfield Deck tickets are now $5 for adults and $1 for kids ages 3-14 . In 2011, adult tickets were $7. With this reduction, a family of four can attend a game for $12.

As a special thank you for their loyalty and commitment, the Astros will also issue five percent rebates to full-season and 27-game plan season ticket accounts in 2012 to those who have renewed their tickets by the Jan. 31 deadline. Those rebates will be distributed in the form of a gift card that can be used to purchase food, merchandise or individual game tickets at Minute Maid Park.


Beer:

The Astros have expanded their $5 beer special to include every permanent concession stand and permanent bar at Minute Maid Park where domestic beer is sold. This beer in a 14-ounce cup will now be available at 35 locations throughout the ballpark.

Outside Food and Beverages:

Fans are now allowed to bring food and water into Minute Maid Park for games. Food must be transported in a small, clear (see-through) plastic bag, and water must be in a sealed, plastic bottle, being one liter or less in size. One bottle of water per person is allowed.

_________

The Astros will also continue to offer several of the popular ticket specials that have been available in recent years:

Price Matters Days presented by H-E-B

This offer, which is available for every Monday through Thursday Astros game, includes one View Deck II ticket, one hot dog, a bag of H-E-B chips and one soda for $10, which represents a savings of over 50 percent. Also, for $10 more, fans can purchase a lower level seat in the Bullpen Boxes.

All You Can Eat

For $30, this deal includes a Mezzanine game ticket and unlimited hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, nachos, soda and water and is available for every home game. Groups of 20 or more are eligible to purchase this package for $25.

Coca-Cola Value Zone

This offer, which is available for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday game, includes a Mezzanine ticket and Astros cap, as well as a hot dog and Coke product beverage for $20.

POWERADE Double Play Tuesdays

This offer, which is available every Tuesday, features two Outfield Deck tickets for $2. Additionally, fans can now also purchase two Field Box II tickets for $40, which is new in 2012.

9-Inning Lunch Break

This package is offered for weekday, 1:05 p.m. games and includes a Field Box ticket and $20 in Minute Maid Park food and beverage vouchers, which is a $61 value, for $45, a savings of $16 per ticket.

Dynamic Pricing

This offer is available for every Astros home game for select seats. Prices, which fluctuate based on demand, can represent up to 50% in savings per ticket.

Special Fundraising Pricing

Charities and community organizations can earn up to $10 per ticket by selling discounted Astros tickets.

Group Ticket Specials

With the Astros Group Ticket Program, groups of 20 or more can purchase discounted tickets. Group discounts can be as high as 50% per ticket, depending on the size of the group.

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37 Comments

nice

They really aren’t letting you bring in outside food and drinks. Its just one small little water bottle per person and you might be able to bring in a PB&J sandwich and chips as long as you put them in a small, clear, ZipLock bag. Big deal. Its not like you can bring in a bag of fastfood or a bottle of Coke.

Also, the name change is a horrible idea. I’m sure they will do it however because nothing is sacred after forcing them to move to the AL. Say hello to your Houston ____________ in 2013!

Love it, Go Astros, gotta love I’ll be there, every chance I get, now!!! Thank you Astros!

I am glad about the outside beverage. I have MS and need to stay hydrated. It was hard for when I had to leave my drink at the door. Im glad to be able to have my drink until I get in to buy another. I would want to have another attack of Ms… I enjoy my baseball games. I need my leggs to get to my chair….It will make a difference with my illness.
Thank you …

Excellent values for this season. I’m definitely going to more games this season than last.

This is great. I would like to see one thing done to the field, get rid of the centerfield hill.

Any love for section 124? We are paying ridiculous prices for a AA team. 5,000 seats is great, but that’s not gonna cut it.

Some people are just never satisfied. Always asking for more. What a shame

That is great news!!!!

Fantastic news! These are some great changes that I’m sure all of us fans really appreciate. Looking forward to this season of great Astros baseball!

now get a team worth watching!

Nice gesture for the fans. As a season ticket holder, I’d rather have cash back in stead of a gift card. II don’t buy much food or merchandize when I attend the game and rarely need extra tickets. Now I can bring in my own water and get an occasional t-shirt as a give away. Cash would have been nicer.

Good news. I would hope in the near future that Mr. Crane and the Astros would replace Aramark and let individuals lease the permanent concession stands and pay their % to the Astros. Leave Tal’s hill in center field It’s one of the things that sets Minute Maid apart.

This will absolutely make it easier and cheaper for us to come from Austin to see more games. *standing o for Mr Crane.*

Thank you Astros!…..Alyson Footer ur smoking Hot!

Really love the changes. With a family of eight it really helps n go astros.

Big deal … the Astros are just copying the Rangers, they already did all of this stuff … except the Astros don’t have the players, the minor league system, Nolan Ryan, and the Rangers haven’t thrown out 50 years of TRADITION by switching leagues. This ain’t gonna work, Carpetbagger Crane. Native Houstonians will never forgive you.

How serious and likely is the comment regarding the name change? Bad years, mid-market team or not, the Astros name and Star logo has been one of the most recognized logos in all of major U.S. sports. I can’t imagine they would give up that brand awareness. However changing the color scheme, lettering and uniforms to differ from the Diamondbacks is a must.

I second that, Phillip. I’d be absolutely furious if the name changed.

I’m happy to see cheaper tickets and cheaper beer but If they change the name I’m going to be mad as hell.I also agree .Alyson Footer ur smoking Hot!

$5 beer is incredible! You can put me down for plenty of games next season.

Awesome! Wont miss any of the games now!

I applaud the change allowing food in the park.This certainly helps on costs for fans.However any name change unless we go back to the Colt 45′s would be even more of a disgrace then the current makeup of the team ole Drayton left us with.Tals hill certainly needs to go, but until the Astros get a major league team again i cannot see driving to Houston to watch ..At least when we were the cOLT 45′S IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A RAGTAG GROUP OF OLD VETS BUT SOME HAD NAME APPEAL.I cant even name the players on this team.Doesnt matter how much you lower the prices its a minor league ballclub.

So, I guess in 2013 the Astros name will die along with their 50 year affiliation with the National League. Is it just me, or does the 50 year anniversary logo resemble a tombstone?

I’m pretty sure in 2013 we’ll have the Houston Energy, or some new lame name, as our “new” American League team.

Looks Like I will be going more often :)

Some of the changes I don’t mind. In fact, some of them I’m excited about. But change the name!!!! That’s not acceptable!!!! Don’t you dare change the name!!!!!

I’m a fan of all changes except the changing of the name and the switching over to the AL! If you change the name, I can guarantee you will lose a lot of fans, including me!

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I’m excited about all these changes – Minute Maid has been behind all the other major parks in terms of its food and drink policies and was seriously lacking in solid value ticket packages. This is going to help drive fans to the stadium, which may do a little something for team performance!

Having to go to the American League is BAD, BAD, BAD, much like moving Houston to Siberia. And now, the proposed name change. This really STINKS! Let us have at least that much of our own tradition and history.

Alyson, I felt compelled to give my mush solicited $.02. Like the proposes changes esp the field box tix discount, and the food/bvg thing.

But PLEASE! Pass my comment along to Mr. Crane…..don’t even think for a second that changing the name is remotely a good idea!!!! Good lord! Seriously??? I mean a uniform change is no big deal, since I’m pretty sure we hold the record for most uniform changes in the history of baseball. But a name change??? To even entertain the thought and publicly announce it is scary! Not cool at all Mr. Crane! I’m willing to give new ownership lots of leeway room but changing the name that is almost 50 years is just utterly ridiculous!

Thanks!

Note to Astros management…the name is not the issue, the team is. While I read MLB.com about other teams making deals, you want to “srudy” a name change? Names and uniforms don’t bring in fans, winning teams with good players do…signed a season ticket holder since ’84…but not sure about post-’12…show us you’re a baseball guy and not a promoter…please!

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just keep the name!!!!! and everything else sounds great.

Reduced prices on only about 12k seats in MM. Even Footer agrees that most of the discounts are for seats that aren’t usually filled. Oh never mind, it will surprise me to have 2000 in attendance on 98% of the home games. Noboby cares about watching the “kids” progress. Fans care about winning! The seats will be empty for 2-3 years, Crane will move the team to Vegas and the Nationals will move to Houston….mark my words!!!

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