Building connection by delivering on fans' needs.
BUILDING CONNECTION BY DELIVERING ON FANS' NEEDS.
A redesign of the Minute Maid Park main level concessions provided an opportunity to connect the guests to the Astros brand, and invite the city’s flavors into the stadium to create an authentic Houston game experience. While creating distinct environments for concessions, club and suite-level spaces, the ultimate goal was to raise brand loyalty and establish stronger connections with all types of fans.
Defining Spaces Inside the Stadium
Astros baseball fans attend games with different expectations and ideas for how they want to enjoy the game, and their seating access often reflects that. On the Club level, we drew in local Houston elements and incorporated regional ingredients (vendors) and materials to celebrate fans’ roots.
The Club level offers more robust hospitality and service, so the design reflects a high-level game experience. We developed a user-sensory inspired space enhanced by the materials and lighting selections.
Developing programming for each audience required a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, along with Houston traditions. Intensive research was conducted to identify fan habits and how other stadiums deliver experiences in order to create a cutting-edge program for the Astros.
Transforming Minute Maid Park
Richardson Design partnered with HSB Architects + Engineers to evolve several Minute Maid Park main Food and Beverage spaces. That included introducing a portable concept, gourmet burgers, general admission marketplace, club and suite experiences, and partnerships with culinary brands including Brian Caswell’s El Real and The Caz.
The result is an Astros stadium experience that’s pure, homegrown Houston and catered to the range of fans who attend the park.
Implementing the Self-Serve Fastball Foods
Catering to the next generation of fans, Richardson collaborated with Aramark to implement the first self-ordering and self-serve beverage food stand in a Major League Baseball stadium. Remote ordering and self-serve automated pickup help eliminate long lines and provide a futuristic concession stand at the mezzanine level. Fans order and pay at tablet kiosks, then pick up food from a window. The concept is based on Aramark guest experience research and was executed with Richardson to align with the flavor and fanfare the Astros brand delivers.
Positioning the Venue for Success
Richardson collaborated with Houston Astros ownership, Aramark representatives and kitchen consultants to develop a program that would grow fan loyalty—and importantly, drive revenues. The strategy included creating destination zones to attract social baseball fans, giving guests reasons to visit the stadium, beyond the game. By creating an authentic, Houston-style Astros experience, the franchise broadened its audience and can deliver on modern fans’ expectations for entertainment.
Richardson Design, LLC
Photography: John Spaulding Photography