“Juice Box” is the nickname of Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of baseball’s Houston Astros. The hitter-friendly park was called Enron Field when it opened in 2000, but was named Astros Field on February 7, 2002, following Enron’s bankruptcy. On June 5, 2002, it was renamed Minute Maid Park, after the Houston-based beverage (mostly juice) company now owned by Coca-Coca. ESPN’s broadcasters nicknamed the ballpark “The Juice Box” on the same day.
“The Juice Box” nickname works in two ways—to recognize Minute Maid’s juice products and also the “juice” that it gives hitters by inflating home run statistics.
Wikipedia: Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field and Astros Field) is a ballpark in Houston, Texas, that opened in 2000 to house the Houston Astros.
The ballpark was Houston’s first retractable-roofed stadium, protecting fans and athletes from Houston’s notoriously humid weather as its predecessor, the Astrodome, did, but allowing fans to also enjoy outdoor baseball; something they couldn’t do in the Astrodome. The ballpark also features a grass field, compared to the Astrodome’s artificial AstroTurf, which was generally disliked by professional baseball players. The largest entrance to the park is inside what was once Houston’s Union Station, and the left-field side of the stadium features a train as homage to the site’s history. The train moves along a track on top of the length of the exterior wall beyond left field whenever an Astros player hits a home run, or when the Astros win a game. The engine’s tender, traditionally used to carry coal, is filled with giant oranges in tribute to Minute Maid’s most famous product, orange juice.
The ballpark was first christened as Enron Field on April 9, 1999, with naming rights sold to the Houston energy corporation in a 30 year, $100 million deal. Astros management faced a public relations nightmare when the energy corporation went bankrupt in the midst of one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history in 2001, and they bought back the remainder of Enron’s thirty years of naming rights for $2.1 million, rechristening the ballpark as Astros Field on February 7, 2002. The field was unofficially known as “The Field Formerly Known As Enron” by fans and critics alike, in wake of the Enron scandal. On June 5, 2002, Houston-based Minute Maid, the fruit-juice subsidiary of Coca-Cola, acquired the naming rights to the stadium for 28 years at a price exceeding $100 million.
Based on its downtown location next to the old Union Station buildings, one of the suggested names (and nicknames) is the Ballpark at Union Station, or the BUS. During its days as Enron Field, it was also dubbed “Ten-Run” or “Home Run” Field due to its cozy left-field dimensions. In keeping with this theme while paying homage to its current sponsor, the nickname “The Juice Box” is colloquially used today.
Wikipedia: Minute Maid
Minute Maid is a product line of beverages, usually associated with lemonade or orange juice, but now extends to soft drinks of many kinds, including Hi-C.
Minute Maid was the first company to market orange juice concentrate, allowing it to be distributed throughout the United States and served year-round.
The Minute Maid company is now owned by The Coca-Cola Company, and is the world’s largest marketer of fruit juices and drinks. It is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and employs 2,200 people.
In 2002 the Houston Astros baseball team sold the naming rights for their venue, subsequently anointed Minute Maid Park, and the company now owns 8.5% of the team.
They now make minute maid juice bars to in orange, grape,and cherry flavors.
The Juice Box
‘The Juice Box’ is a nickname for Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
(Blog from 2004-2007—ed.)
Google Groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.sports
From: “Robert C Buss”
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 13:00:49 GMT
Local: Thurs, Jun 6 2002 9:00 am
Subject: Re: Astros Field (Enron) renamed!
While listening to ESPN radio this afternoon, I heard one of the hosts say that the park might now be referred to as the “Juice Box”.
Houston (TX) Press
Best New Stadium
Minute Maid Park
Published: September 25, 2003
Forget about the stupid corporate name and that god-awful choo-choo train in left field. The best new stadium in Houston is the oldest new stadium in Houston: Minute Maid Park, a.k.a. the Juice Box, Home Run Field and Sponsorship Stadium. Minute Maid wins simply because it offers the best, and most interactive, fan experience in Houston: Sit in the Crawford Boxes and catch pop fly home runs. Sit in the field boxes and interfere with a ball in play. Our favorite seats are in right field on the first level, under the overhang, where we don’t have to watch the DiamondVision screen. Go get a $10 hot dog and enjoy.
New York (NY) Times
HOUSTON LEADS SERIES, 2-1
Astros Make the Most of Their Home Field, and Atlanta Is the Victim
By RAY GLIER
Published: October 10, 2004
HOUSTON, Oct. 9 - It is nicknamed the Juice Box because it is named for a fruit drink, but the juice resembling electricity is what flows through Minute Maid Park. It is a cozy, hitter-friendly ballpark that has turned into a sanctuary for the Houston Astros, who are one game from winning their first playoff series in 42 years.