As Greg said earlier, Jim Crane held a 4:00pm CST news conference to announce some fan friendly changes to the ball club. When he purchased the club, Crane promised that changes were in store for the Houston Astros. Those of you who know me, know that I have been very anti Drayton McLane for the better part of a decade now so any kind of changes that were to be made would most likely have my approval and all of them did, save one.
Crane announced today that prices on tickets and drinks will be lowered. The Astros reduced the price of seats in the Field and Club levels as well as the Outfield Deck. Seats in Field Box 2 have been lowered from $41 to $29, the new Power Club sections in the Club Level have been lowered to $35 which includes a $15 credit for food, beverage and retail items. Those same seats were $46 last season without a credit of any kind. The Outfield Deck tickets are now $5 for adults and $1 for kids ages 14 and under those same tickets last season were $7. The Astros will also issue five percent refunds to full season and 27 game plan season ticket holders in 2012 who have renewed their tickets by the end of this month. Those refunds will be given in the form of a gift card that can be used to purchase food, merchandise, or even additional individual game tickets at Minute Maid Park. Crane also announced that they have now added their $5 beer special to include every permanent concession stand and permanent bar at Minute Maid Park where domestic beer is sold.
My favorite of all of these new “perks” is that we are finally allowed to bring in our own food and water to games. I will admit that I will very rarely, if ever do this, but it was the principle of the thing. The Astros were the last of all MLB teams to do this. When Drayton McLane was asked about this a few years ago, he responded by saying that none of the other Houston teams allow fans to do that, which is beside the point when every other MLB team is allowing it. But I digress. The food must be brought in a small see through plastic bag and the water must brought in a sealed plastic bottle, which cannot exceed one liter in size.
The last thing that was announced was that the team colors, logo, uniforms and even name could all be changed upon our switch to the AL in 2013. I have no problem with any of that except for the name change. I love the name of our ball club and would hate to see it changed from the Astros. As far as the colors, logo and uniform is concerned, it wouldn’t matter to me one way or the other. Fans have been clamoring for new uniforms for quite a while so I’m almost certain that will happen. I would just hate to see our beloved baseball team no longer called the Astros. As he was wrapping up his news conference, Jim Crane said something that stuck with me. He stated “We feel this is the right thing to do, 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.” Folks, in almost 20 years as Astros owner, that’s something we never heard from Drayton McLane. As a certain Insurance company says, “we’re in good hands.”