Super Bowl Opening Night held at Houston’s Minute Maid Park

The New England Patriots participate in opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HOUSTON (NEXSTAR MEDIA) — Formerly Super Bowl Media Day, Super Bowl Opening Night was held Monday at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Astros.

Super Bowl Opening Night
The New England Patriots are introduced during opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Players and coaches from both teams met the media for the first time since arriving in Houston in front of roughly 10,000 fans who paid to be there.

NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O’Reilly said while baseball and football usually never mix, the baseball stadium was actually a perfect fit for the event.

“For us, we’re usually oil and water. We don’t mix. But for us, it’s a great facility, [it] lays out really well,” he explained. “We’ve done it in arenas, we’ve done it in basketball and hockey arenas.”

In fact, the SAP Center in San Jose, California, a hockey arena, hosted last year’s Opening Night.

Houston’s Minute Maid Park is more than twice the size, which means it can accommodate more fans.

“We’ve tried to design it in a way where you forget you’re in a baseball stadium, you know you’re in a football event,” O’Reilly said, adding, “But it’s a good marriage [and] the Astros have been good partners.”

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