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Shaded Seats at Minute Maid Park

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Minute Maid Park is the home of the Houston Astros. This modern ballpark is located in downtown Houston and features a retractable roof to protect players and fans from the overpowering Texas summer heat and thunderstorms. However, there are plenty of early season games when baseball is played with the roof open. Given Houston’s year-round heat, fans would be wise use this guide to identify Minute Maid Park shaded seats.

Where are the shaded seats at Minute Maid Park?

When the roof is open, the seats in the shade at Minute Maid Park are located:

  • Behind Home Plate: Shaded by mid-afternoon and during evening games
  • 3rd Base Line: Receives shade in the late afternoon and evening
  • Crawford Boxes: Shaded for evening games

For the 2024 season, the Astros primarily play day games starting at 1:10 p.m. and evening games at 7:10 p.m., with a few games scheduled for 3:10 p.m. and other miscellaneous times. Summer in Houston is infamously hot, humid, and miserable. For this reason, the roof at Minute Maid Park is typically open only during the spring months. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, just in case!

Minute Maid Park Orientation to the Sun

Minute Maid Park is oriented to the north-northwest, a unique orientation among MLB stadiums. Each morning, the sun rises behind right field, curves around home plate at mid-day, and sets in the evening behind the left field wall. When the roof is open, this configuration makes the 3rd base side of the park the “shade side,” while the 1st base side and right field become the sunny spots.

The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on July 1st (halfway through the MLB season).


Where to Buy Tickets

MLB operates the official Box Office for the Astros. SeatGeek is the official resale partner for all MLB teams, offering access to a broader variety of seats, including those owned by season ticket holders. The Box Office provides access to unsold seats at face value plus fees, while SeatGeek may offer occasional last-minute deals and discounts on lower-demand games.

Seats in the Shade at Astros Early Afternoon Games

When the roof is open for a 1:10 p.m. start at Minute Maid Park, the sun will start the game high above home plate. In the early innings, the upper levels directly beneath the roofing structures, specifically sections 408-416 on the 3rd base side, offer the best shade. Be cautious when considering seats in right field, as sections 152-156 and 251-255 are under cover and may start the game shaded but will receive sunlight as the game progresses due to the sun’s angle.

For seats closer to the field, focus on the 3rd base side for shade. Sections 208-216 may start in the sun but will become shaded a few innings into the game. Field-level sections 108-118 will take longer to find shade, but will eventually get some, unlike similar seats on the 1st base side which will remain sunny all afternoon.

Seats in the Shade at Astros Late Afternoon Games

By first pitch at a 3:10 p.m. game, the sun will have shifted behind 3rd base, making this the “shade side.” Nearly any seat between home plate and the left field foul pole will be in the shade. Shade seekers can find in a seat in any of sections 108-116, 208-216, 309-316, and 408-416.

The sunniest seats are along the 1st base line near the right field foul pole and behind the right field wall. Avoid sections 131-134, 232-236, and 333-338 if you’re sensitive to sunlight.

Shadows on the stands at Houston Astros Stadium

When the roof is open in the mid-afternoon, the 3rd base line is the “shade side” of Minute Maid Park, while seats on the 1st base line and right field are sunny.
Credit: Minute Maid Park by Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Seats in the Shade at Astros Evening Games

For evening games with the roof open, there are plenty of shaded seats available. The shade strategy remains the same as for late afternoon games: choose seats behind home plate or on the 3rd base side for shade. Avoid the 1st base line and right field corner if you dislike sunlight. By 7:10 p.m., fans in the Crawford Boxes behind the left field wall will have the sun at their back, eventually moving into full shade.

Seats in the Shade When the Minute Maid Park Roof is Closed

If the roof is closed for the game you’re attending, shade isn’t a major concern. For 7:10 p.m. games, sunlight can sneak through the large windows behind the left field wall and illuminate some seats deep down the 1st base line and near the right field foul pole. Aside from that, the roof provides sun protection to almost every seat in the stadium.

Houston Astros Stadium with the roof closed

When the roof is closed, some sun can sneak through the windows in left field and splash seats near the right field foul pole.
Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire

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