Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the Astros are planning a $15 million renovation to Minute Maid Park for 2016 that includes removing Tal’s Hill from the outfield and moving in the center field fence from 436 feet to 409 feet.
Astros owner Jim Crane indicated that the team wanted to use the extra space in center field to add concession stands and spots where fans can watch the game from the concourse.
Tal’s Hill, some people love it, some people hate it. We just thought it would be a better ballpark by moving that in. It will still be a very deep center field. There’s always been concern with the flag poles in play and danger in that and also the injuries going up the Hill, so we think this would be better for the players, utilize the space better and be a very pretty ballpark.
I’m generally in favor of ballparks having quirks, but a literal hill in center field always seemed to take that a bit too far and it created a lot more potential for weird plays and injuries than any sort of beautification or character.