Astros Relocating Community Leaders Signage At Minute Maid Park
The Astros following an "outcry from fans" will move the "Community Leaders" billboards that "became extremely unpopular when they were built above the wall in left field” at Minute Maid Park in ’12, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Astros Owner Jim Crane and President of Business Operations Reid Ryan have “decided to relocate the billboards just under the railroad tracks across left field and left-center field.” Fans “no longer will have an obstructed view of the Houston skyline, the train and the Friday night fireworks displays.” Ryan expects that the sponsors will get "more exposure now because the signs will be visible on television after typical home runs and shots to the left-field and left-center walls.” Ortiz noted despite the program’s efforts in the community, many fans "couldn’t get over what they considered an ugly monstrosity above the Crawford Boxes” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/14).
CLOSING THE GARDENS PARTY? MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported a week after the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., City Council “directed the city manager to end all work on a proposed Spring Training baseball complex to be shared by the Astros and Blue Jays, the Astros are exploring other options with hopes of breaking ground by the end of the year.” Astros General Counsel Giles Kibbe is “spearheading the team's efforts to relocate its Spring Training operations from Kissimmee, Fla., following the 2016 season.” He said that the team “still hopes to be able to build a complex in Palm Beach County, while acknowledging it's looking elsewhere in Florida and even exploring options in Arizona” (MLB.com, 1/15).