Shaded Seats at Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park is the home of the Houston Astros. Located in downtown Houston, Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof to protect players and fans from the sometimes overpowering Texas sun and occasional thunderstorm. However, there are plenty of games when the roof stays open, meaning fans would be wise to find some nice shaded seats at Minute Maid Park.
Minute Maid Park Orientation to the Sun
Minute Maid Park is situated with home plate facing almost directly north, although it is tilted slightly to the west, which is a unique orientation compared to other big league stadiums. This means the sun rises in the morning behind the 1st base side of the stadium and sets in the evening behind the 3rd base side. In between, most of the field and certain parts of the stands are typically drenched in sunshine when the roof is open.
The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on July 1st (halfway through the MLB season).
Where are the shaded seats at Minute Maid Park?
As a general rule, the seats in the shade at Minute Maid Park are located:
- On the 3rd base side of the park
- Farther back in one of those sections under an overhang
- Sections 408-416 under the roof
The Astros play a majority of their home games at 7:10 p.m. However, most of their Saturday home games during the season will start at either 3:10 or 6:10. Meanwhile, most of their Sunday home games and midweek getaway games get started at 1:10.
Outside of the area beyond left and center field, there is ample seating all the way around the field. The roofing structures also provide plenty of natural shade even when the air conditioning is turned off and the roof is opened.
Seats in the Shade at Astros 1:10 games
For an early afternoon game at Minute Maid Park, the roof will more than likely be closed. This is the hottest part of the day, as the sun will be near its highest point. If the roof is open, the best place to find shade will be in the upper levels directly below the roofing structures. Specifically, sections 408-416 on the 3rd base side of the stadium will be protected by the roof. Sections 152-156 and 251-255 beyond the right field wall will have some protection, although that may not last all game. Sitting in the back rows of sections 424-430 along the 1st baseline will also have a patch of roof above.
Other than that, it will be tough to find shade at Minute Maid Park during the hottest part of the day outside of the very back rows in the 100-level and 200-level seats in foul territory that will have a slight overhang above them.
Seats in the Shade at Astros 3:10 games
By the start of a 3:10 game, the Houston sun will have moved to the 3rd base side of the stadium. This will help provide relief to large sections of that side of the park. For the most part, sections 408-419 and 208-219 will be in the shade by game time. Some field level seats in sections 110-116 will also be in the shade, although it’ll help to sit further back in the section to ensure protection from the sun.
Unfortunately, the same won’t be true for those sitting on the 1st base side of Minute Maid. Outside of the few seats between home plate and the Houston dugout along the 1st baseline, most sections on the 1st base side will be looking in the direction of the sun for a majority of a 3:10 game. The sections to avoid the most will be deep in the right field corner near the foul pole, specifically sections 131-134, 232-236, and 333-338.
Seats in the Shade at Astros 6:10 and 7:10 games
For an evening game at Minute Maid Park during the summer, the temperature may not drop that much but the sun will be less of an issue. Even for a 6:10 game, the sun should have dropped low enough to put most of the 3rd base side of the stadium in the shade, including the small section of seats in left field. However, most of the 1st base side of the park will continue to stare into the sun during the early innings. The good news is that the sun sets in Houston by 8:30, sometimes sooner, during the summer months. This should limit the time any fans are battling the sun, but seats in right field and along the 1st baseline could be a little problematic until the sun goes down.
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Enjoy the game!