Torrential rainstorms hit Minute Maid Park on Thursday, with rain falling inside the retractable-roof ballpark as the Houston Astros hosted the Texas Rangers.
Severe storms affected the Houston area on Thursday, resulting in floodwater and hail around the city. Despite the conditions, the Astros and Rangers were able to play their game as scheduled, but rain was first spotted inside Minute Maid Park in the seventh inning.
While the retractable roof was closed, the severe rainfall combined with high winds allowed water to fall inside the ballpark–with areas of the outfield particularly affected, including sections of right field seating that were vacated by fans. Minute Maid Park is not a sealed building, so there are certain locations where rain can make its way into the facility during particularly severe storms.
That has happened in less extreme forms in the recent past–including during a game last month–but Thursday’s severe conditions were certainly among the strongest Minute Maid Park has faced when hosting a game with the roof closed. More from the Houston Chronicle:
The center-field flags whipped in the wind, too, as hard as Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan can remember during a closed-roof game in his six-year tenure with the club.
“Minute Maid Park is not a sealed building, it’s not a permanent dome, it’s a retractable stadium,” Ryan said late Thursday night. “And, as such, there are all kinds of places where water gets into the building.”
Because the separate panels of the roof require room to fit under one another in right field, there are baffles in place that restrict water or heat inside when the building is being air conditioned.
“But when you have high winds and when you have sideways rain, there are times where those things move and water permeates them,” Ryan said. “It happens pretty much every time we have a really hard rain. Tonight it was raining so hard and so fast in the area in right field, people had to move because water was landing on top of them.”
The forecast was worrisome enough that Houston mayor Sylvester Turner had advised residents earlier in the day to consider staying home and skipping the game, but the contest still drew a reported total of 26,657 fans. The Astros defeated the Rangers 4-2, ending the game with a leaping catch by right fielder Josh Reddick that robbed Hunter Pence of what would have been a go-ahead three-run homer.
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 10, 2019