Enron Field renamed, for
By Kristin Buchanan
Daily Cougar Staff
The ballpark formerly known as Enron Field
just got a new name.
Kevin Harwerth/The Daily
Enron Field's name will change
to Astros Field as soon as a bankruptcy court approves a buyout deal between
Enron and the Astros.
The beloved arena housing Houston's baseball
team no longer bears the name of the company involved in the largest bankruptcy
U.S. history. Until the team finds a new
sponsor, the stadium will be Astros Field.
"It's time to move forward," Astros owner
Drayton McLane Jr. said. "I am very happy that we have been able to reach
this settlement and
put this issue behind us."
In 1999, Enron signed a 30-year, $100 million
contract to have its name put on the stadium, tickets and even napkins.
"Because the Enron name blankets the stadium,
thousands of people who have been adversely affected by the Enron collapse
being reminded on a daily basis of the
continuing tragedy," lawyers for the Astros said in court papers.
Enron has paid up through August, but the
Astros were adamant that they not be associated with any scandals surrounding
McLane came to an agreement Wednesday with
Enron creditors to pay the company $2.1 million to remove its name from
Before the agreement becomes official,
the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
must review and
approve terms of the settlement. The hearing
was scheduled Wednesday in New York.
Naming rights negotiations could be settled
before the season starts April 2, McLane said.
About seven national and international
companies are in the running to be the ballpark's next sponsor. The Astros
are declining to
name any of these companies.