Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 1/23/12
While announcing enhancements to the fan experience at Minute Maid Park, new Astros owner Jim Crane also said the club is considering changing the name of the team. While Crane cautioned that a name change is only under consideration and not a foregone conclusion, he acknowledged that the organization has had conversations with Major League Baseball about the topic. "We're going to do a study on it," Crane said in reference to a potential name change. "We're going to study the information from the fans and from all sorts of marketing people. I'm not saying we're going to change. We haven't made a decision yet but if a change is coming, it will come next year." Crane announced several fan initiatives to help improve attendance figures which have declined for five consecutive seasons. One significant tweak is that fans will be allowed to bring food and water into Minute Maid Park with some restrictions. In addition, the lowest priced seats will be reduced from 7 per adult ticket to 5 per ticket and kids' tickets in the same areas will be reduced to 1. "That means you can bring a family of four for 12," said Astros CEO George Postolos. "One of our marketing folks said that that was less than the price of a single movie ticket." Upon purchasing the team Crane had promised to be creative in luring fans to the park. "With the new ownership, with the way the team performed in the last couple of years, we needed to step forward to try to get back in the fans," he said Monday. The Astros will also issue five percent rebates to full-season and 27-game season ticket accounts that are renewed by January 31. Those rebates will be distributed in the form of a gift card that can be used to purchase food, merchandise or individual game tickets at Minute Maid Park. The club is also reducing prices in some Field and Club Level seats. Crane also said that the team is strongly contemplating a new-look uniform. Just as is the case with a possible name change, any new uniform or logo must be approved by Major League Baseball one year in advance, meaning such decisions must be made no later than the start of the 2012 season. The Astros averaged more than 37,000 fans per game in 2006 but that figure decreased to just over 25,000 last season. Since going into their new park in 2000, the club has drawn over three million fans four times: 2000, '04, '06 and '07.
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