Minute Maid Park is going to be rocking in 2024. Fresh off another AL West Division Championship in 2023, the Houston Astros fanbase is excited for yet another year of baseball in Space City.
There's so much excitement surrounding the Astros upcoming 2024 campaign that the team has already sold a franchise-record 22,000 tickets, according to USA Today. Last year, the Astros drew the second-largest crowd in the American League with 3,052,347 fans packed into Minute Maid Park during the team's 2023 season.
Last season, average attendance was over 37,000 per game. During Jim Crane's first year as club owner, the Astros weren't even able to get an average of 20,000 fans out to the ballpark every night. But with the recent announcement regarding Jose Altuve's contract extension, plus the five-year deal with free agent closer Josh Hader, 'Stros fans are as amped as ever.
Astros season ticket sales record shows fan optimism in championship window
The Astros came ever-so-close to heading back to the World Series in 2023. While the disappointing loss to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS still stings, it doesn't take away from the fact that the Astros are here to stay.
In addition to Altuve and Hader, Justin Verlander will be back in 2024. The Astros swung a trade with the New York Mets at last year's trade deadline, ensuring that the former Cy Young Award winner would be back in Houston for at least one more season. The Astros boast several other talented starters, including Framber Valdez, Christian Javier and Jose Urquidy.
Altuve is the face of the franchise, but Kyle Tucker may have surpassed him as the best player on the roster. The Astros outfielder will be back in 2024, and is a likely AL MVP candidate. The Astros front office could get the Houston faithful even more excited for the upcoming season if they were able to work out a contract extension with their two-time All-Star slugger.
In addition to Altuve and Tucker, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Jeremy Peńa will help make Joe Espada's transition to Astros manager a relatively easy one. And with Hader, Bryan Abreu, and Ryan Pressly at the backend of the bullpen, if the Astros enter the eighth inning with the lead, opposing batters are going to have a difficult time.
While a contract extension with Bregman seems less and less likely with every passing day, there's still plenty of optimism surrounding the Astros franchise heading into 2024. With so much talent returning from last year's roster, the Astros championship window is still wide open.