America’s favorite pastime is made possible by steel construction
Baseball is woven into the fabric of America, as is the steel industry – and both helped shape the identity of a nation in flux. The first game in the National League of Base Ball Clubs was played on April 22, 1876, when Union soldiers still occupied some of the southern United States. Now, with over 215,000 games under its belt, the Major League Baseball organization is worth about $36 billion and the 2017 World Champion Astros fill over 40,000 seats a game.
The metal industry had played an integral role in the baseball business since the very beginning of its rise in popularity. Today’s stadiums are grand behemoths with innovative features that improve the overall experience for players and fans alike.
The Houston Astro’s home field, Minute Maid Park, is constructed of steel and concrete, sprawling over 1,263,240 square feet across almost 29 acres of downtown real estate. Its 242-foot high retractable roof is made of steel panels transported by 140 35-inch steel wheels. Designed by architect, HOK Sports Facilities Group, and managed by Brown and Root Services, a Haliburton Company, the construction of the retractable roof enabled fans to enjoy open-air baseball in Houston for the first time in 35 years. The impact of steel is obvious on a grandiose scale, but it also supports the individual players – literally. Even baseball player’s cleats use metal spikes on the soles.
At Texas Iron & Metal, we’d love baseball regardless of steel’s role in game, but we can’t help being in awe of Minute Maid’s retracting roof and feel proud of our industry’s impact on the great American sport.
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