One of the strangest and most unique landmarks in Major League Baseball will only be around for a few more months. The Houston Astros have decided to remove Tal’s Hill and its flagpole after this season, two staples of Minute Maid Park since its opening in 2000.
Center field will undergo a $15 million renovation that will move the fence in about 27 feet. The distance from home plate to the wall will be 409 feet beginning in the 2016 season. The change will make the distance only the sixth-farthest away from home plate as opposed to the farthest away like it is now.
“The new center field will not only be great for fans, but will make Minute Maid Park an attractive ballpark for current and future players as well,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told ESPN.
According to the Astros, moving in the fence allows the team to add three new bars, four new food locations and extra seating.
“We are extremely excited about our plans for center field, and are confident that our fans will be as well,” Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said in a statement. “Our goal will be to create a unique and entertaining atmosphere for our fans that will include great happy-hour spots and spectacular views. It will also be visual, giving the ballpark an exciting, new look.”