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The Roof at Minute Maid Park

The Roof at Minute Maid Park

The roof at Minute Maid Park is a spectacular sight for tourists and locals alike. But there’s more to the roof at Minute Maid Park than meets the eye. 

We’ll talk about that here. We’ve also compiled a list of interesting facts for you to impress your fellow baseball fans with the next time you go to Minute Maid Park. 

Why is the roof at Minute Maid Park special?

Fans can view the Houston skyline thanks to the 50,000 ft.² of glass on the west wall of the roof. Even more spectacular, the Minute Maid Park’s roof completely retracts from the ballpark, giving it the largest open area of any baseball stadium today.

Just bear in mind that it gets pretty windy in the park when it’s open, so you definitely want to avoid getting a fancy hairdo at the salon or barber shop prior. 

Mussed hair aside, the experience is still worthwhile and the view is unbeatable. Who knows, you may even be able to spot the top of your apartment or your dermatologist’s office from the park! 

How much did the roof at Minute Maid Park cost?

The retracting roof cost $65 million to build. The home club is usually the one that decides to close the roof. 

When does Minute Maid Park open/close the roof?

Minute Maid Park keeps the roof open if the game begins with it opened. The roof is only then closed due to adverse weather conditions. 

However, if the game starts with a closed roof, the roof can be opened. It depends on the opinion of the home club on whether fan comfort and enjoyment level will be better by opening the roof. 

Moreover, sometimes the Umpire Crew Chief may feel that opening the roof creates a competitive imbalance. 

In such instances, the Umpire Crew Chief makes the final decision. However, once the roof is closed during a game, it is not reopened. 

In special cases if the roof is opened during the game, it’s only once and in  between innings. 

How long does it take to open Minute Maid Park’s roof?

The mechanized roof panels open and close in 12-20 minutes—shorter than a dentist appointment.

How does the retractable roof at Minute Maid Park work?

Steel panels roll along tracks on the west and east sides of the stadium to cover the entire Minute Maid Park. Upon opening the roof, both the northern and southern panels rest at the north end below the middle section. 

There are a total of 140 wheels on the tracks and each has its own braking mechanics. Sixty of the wheels have their own electric motors. 

If one track is slightly out of alignment, all the weight from one roof panel rests on one wheel. 

This causes severe structural damage. So to prevent this, a polyurethane suspension pad that acts like a spring is attached to each wheel to balance out the roof’s weight.  

Both panels weigh 1,905 metric tons, but when resting on the middle section, the weight is 3,810 metric tons—which is near the weight of an elephant. 

Moreover, the built-in glass wall provides a valuable efficiency and a panoramic view of the landscape surrounding, unlike any other ballpark. 

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