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All-Star traffic won't change much
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07/07/2004  3:10 PM ET
All-Star traffic won't change much
Some streets around Minute Maid Park to be closed
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Parking is not expected to be a problem on All-Star Weekend. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
HOUSTON -- Other than a few closings of streets that border Minute Maid Park, All-Star Game traffic will not be much different than it is on a typical sellout for a regular-season gameday.

The streets that immediately surround the ballpark will be closed during the All-Star events. They include:

  • Congress Street, which will be closed from Hamilton Street, westbound down to Crawford Street

  • Hamilton Street, which feeds off I-10, and Jackson Street, which feeds off I-59

  • Texas Avenue and Crawford Street

    At the city's request, Hamilton, Texas, Crawford and Jackson will be open in the morning. The closings will begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday and noon on Monday and Tuesday.

    Congress, however, will close at 8 a.m. on Saturday and will remain so throughout All-Star Week. The area will be blocked off to serve as a broadcast compound for the hundreds of electronic media expected to cover the All-Star festivities.

    For those season-ticket holders who park in the lots at Minute Maid Park, instructions on how to get to their spaces are included on the back of their parking placards.

    "If you have a Diamond Club parking pass, if you come over at 4 o'clock for a 7 o'clock game, you're not going to be able to drive down Texas Avenue," said Senior Vice President of Operations Rob Matwick. "You'll come down Rusk, to Chartres, Chartres to Preston, and come in the back end of the Diamond lot."

    For those who don't have parking passes for the Astros lots, Matwick suggested fans use the same methods of transportation as they would for a regular season game.

    "The trolleys will still be able to run their normal routes," he said. "The (light rail) trains will be running for people who want to park south or at the medical center. METRO will have all of their modes of transportation available to fans."

    And, as always, plenty of parking around the downtown area is available.

    "As we've seen since we moved down here, there's plenty of capacity in garages, surface lots, even on the street." Matwick said. "And still, after 6 o'clock on Monday or Tuesday night, parking is free at meters. If someone wants to park three blocks away at a meter and walk, they can park for free."

    Minute Maid Park gates will open at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, 3 p.m. on Monday and 4 p.m. Tuesday. The New York Mercantile Exchange Futures Game on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. CT, with the Taco Bell Legends and Celebrities Softball Game beginning soon after the conclusion of the Futures Game.

    On Monday, the Century 21 Home Run Derby will be televised by ESPN and begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday's All-Star Game on FOX also starts at approximately 7 p.m. CT.

    Due to the large number of people expected to attend each event, combined with extra security, fans are encouraged to allow extra time to get to the ballpark.

    As is protocol during the regular season, fans are discouraged from bringing backpacks and bags, as all will be subject to search.

    "If you don't need a bag, don't bring it," Matwick said. "It will save everybody a lot of time."

    Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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