Houston Astros Employ Navy Seal Technology to Better Protect Ballplayers At Minute Maid Park
Houston, TX - New Outfield Wall Padding Uses Same High Tech Material Found in Nike Shoes and Special Forces Boats; Shown to Improve Shock Attenuation by up to 73%
The crown jewel of Houston’s skyline, Houston Astros Minute Maid Park, now features a revolutionary outfield wall padding system that dramatically increases shock absorption and ultimately, outfielder safety. Discarding its traditional foam and vinyl wall pads, the Minute Maid park outfield wall instead uses SKYDEX cushioning technology, an innovative material formed from durable plastics that is also used by Nike in many of their Air shoes and in the latest NFL and NCAA football helmets. SKYDEX technology is even used on the floors of Navy SEAL boats to better absorb impact and reduce fatigue and chronic injury.
The new outfield wall at Minute Maid Park combines a 2 ¾” layer of SKYDEX material with a thin, lightweight layer of vinyl and foam. The new system has been shown to reduce shock attenuation scores by up to 73%, which could translate into fewer or less severe injuries when outfielders crash into the wall while tracking deep fly balls.
SKYDEX materials absorb impact through compression of opposed hemispheres formed from durable elastic polymers. It is proven to offer far more effective impact protection in less space than traditional cushioning materials like foam or rubber. In addition, it can be custom engineered to provide maximum shock absorption at the most critical impact points.
Installed on July 2nd by Promats, the exclusive distributor of SKYDEX field wall padding, the new wall was ready just in time for the 2004 All-Star game played at Minute Maid Park. Since the All-Star game, the new wall padding system has received positive reviews from Houston Astros management. “We are really pleased with the product thus far,” said Rob Matwick, Houston Astros Senior Vice President of Ballpark Operations and Customer Service. “We feel it is superior to what we were using previously. It was a real plus for us to have it installed in time for the 2004 All-Star Game that we hosted at Minute Maid Park.”
“We’re thrilled that the Houston Astros chose to install our stadium outfield technology to protect the best of the best for the 2004 All-Star game,” said Michael Buchen, chief executive officer of SKYDEX. “We have a remarkable technology, and Minute Maid Park – one of the most technologically advanced big league ballparks – is the perfect showcase for it.”
About SKYDEX Technologies, Inc.
SKYDEX™ shock absorbing technology is redefining cushioning and protective capabilities in a wide variety of products, from helmets and running shoes to stadium outfield walls. SKYDEX materials have been proven to outperform and significantly outlast foams, gels and other products. Patented SKYDEX technology combines high performance polymers with proprietary geometry for superior cushioning power, and the technology can be endlessly customized for specific applications. Slated to become a household name in cushioning and impact protection, SKYDEX technology is used by some of the world’s most innovative consumer brands, including Schutt, Nike, and Burton, as well as by the U.S. Military. SKYDEX Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company based in Centennial, Colo. For more information visit www.skydex.com.
Promats, co-developer of the SKYDEX Protected Wall Pad System, is the country's leading manufacturer of protective field wall padding and related products for use in stadiums and gymnasiums. Promats padding products have been installed in over 400 major stadiums and arenas nationally including 16 major league baseball stadiums, products for the NFL, Indoor Arena Football, College Football & Baseball, Canadian League Football, World Cup Soccer, Minor League Baseball, and 17 Major League Baseball spring training facilities. Additionally, Promats padding products can be found in thousands of schools and recreational facilities worldwide. Visit www.promats.com.