Astros News

Astros AM: Tal’s Hill Last Days, but the Astrodome Lives On

ehuysman78
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; General view inside Minute Maid Park before a game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; General view inside Minute Maid Park before a game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Astrodome is saved while the Astros will soon remove Tal’s Hill.

Despite the clunker of a game yesterday, I am proud to say that I attended the final Astros game with Tal’s Hill still standing. While Tal’s Hill should be learning how to drive after celebrating it’s 16 anniversary, the hill will be removed soon. The hill itself will not see its 17th anniversary. It is being divided up among fans who felt like the hill was a part of Houston history.

The outfield wall panels have already been sold off. Now they will dig up the hill and sell the dirt to any fan willing to fork over $25. I have purchased both because I feel like the hill represented Astros baseball. Houston had the Astrodome for many years, which was unique and the 8th wonder of the world.

The history behind Tal’s Hill.

When the Astros moved into what is now called Minute Maid Park, they hill was something that fans had to learn to like. Former Astros’ President Tal Smith wanted something that was reminiscent of the old-school ballparks. Can you imagine that conversation, when Smith said he wanted to put a hill in the outfield? What about the talk about putting a flagpole in the field of play?

While these ideas were radical, they became part of the ballpark. People would always say that it was stupid to have a hill in the outfield, someone would get hurt. But no one got hurt, except for Lance Berkman‘s ego as he fell flat on his butt there a few times. Times are changing, and Astros got to say their goodbyes yesterday as they lined up after the game.

With the Hill gone, the Astros will be able to put more seats in the outfield and field level seating next to the home bullpen. The ballpark will look a little different next year with a big ivy hitters background in center field.

The Astrodome will get a makeover.

Also getting a makeover will be the Astrodome, but I think it will cost a little more. The Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to approve a $105 million proposal to bring life back to the Astrodome. They will raise the floor of the stadium to create a parking garage underneath. On top of the new floor, they will put a green space indoor park or convention center.

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

Judge Ed Emmett said in an interview that it would be like Discovery Green on steroids. They would open the concourses for commercial space. They approved phase one of the Astrodome projects on Tuesday. But they will need to get the second phase approved as well. Depending on how you feel about the dome, it will be about 3-5 years for us to be able to walk in the dome again.

While there are rows and rows of seats still at the Astrodome, they are not for sale at the moment. The historical society is protecting them. Despite the dome being turned into a parking garage, they must keep a amount of seats. In case you are new in town, you have to be reminded that it used to be a stadium.

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When the seats do go on sale, I will be going to buy some. The memories of watching Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio from those seats are important for me.

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