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Old 10-28-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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Is the end near for Tal's Hill at Minute Maid Park?

Changes could be coming to Minute Maid Park, including a unique part of the ballpark. Houston Astros President Reid Ryan has gone public with some of his plans and said there is a possibility that Tal's Hill in centerfield could go away.

Tal's Hill is one of the things that makes Minute Maid Park unique. Some see Tal's Hill as an eyesore, but many fans embrace it. Now the hill could be a part of Astros' history.

Architects have been hired to explore renovations at the ballpark, and one of those possible renovations is that outfield oddity in centerfield. 

Tal's Hill has been the scene of some of the most memorable catches in Minute Maid Park history. But 15 years in, Tal's Hill, the incline in centerfield named after longtime Astros executive Tal Smith, is being examined.

"We know that over the last 15 years a lot of things have changed in the industry, so we're taking this time to really take a deep look at Minute Maid Park and see how we want to make it great for the next generation of fans," said Reid Ryan.

He gave Local 2 a tour inside the ballpark, and outfield renovation ideas are just a part of what he calls Minute Maid Park 2.0.

"We're pretty real-estate challenged. It's a small footprint. There's not a lot of extra real estate, and that's one area (Tal's Hill) that we have the ability to do something in," Ryan said.

Work is already underway inside the park, including big upgrades on the club level experience. Ryan said it's all about the fans.

"Part of this process is really to find out what do fans think of this facility, what do they want to see in the ballpark and where do they want to go in the future?" said Ryan.

Ryan told Local 2 the overall game experience is changing quickly in Major League Baseball. Besides renovations, they're adding stadium-wide wi-fi this season and making the fan experience more interactive. 

The centerfield changes, if they occur, wouldn't happen until 2016.

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