Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who's Ready for Skeeters?!!!!!!

Around these parts, the arrival of the pesky pest we affectionately or otherwise lazily refer to as a "Skeeter" is a necessary if unpleasant accompaniment we begrudgingly accept with the all-too-welcomed advent of Spring. All you need then is the sweet smell of freshly cut grass and the unmistakable sensation of sound that is the "Crack!" of a wood bat laid between the seams of a fastball.

Thanks to the City of Sugar Land, soon we'll have both! The arrival of Skeeters in Spring 2012 will mean it is time for professional baseball and affordable family fun. This vision was not without early hurdles. Sugar Land knew that Major League Baseball's Houston Astros would never have approved of any affiliated team in the Greater Houston area. So the SW suburb had to consider teams from independent leagues.

Originally, after Sugar Land residents voted for the allocation of civic revenues towards the construction of a new baseball park, the former Omaha Royals were interested in packing up and heading on south to our fair part of the country. That resulted in Omaha doing what was necessary to keep their team in the form of construction of Warner Park.

Sugar Land then looked eastward to the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, modelled after the success of the Pacific Coast League but with facilities in excess of those of AAA baseball. The ALPB requires that markets be able to sustain a stadium of between 4,000-7,500 seats. Sugar Land contracted Opening Day Partners to construct state of the art StarTex Power Field as the team's home field because of their reputation for construction of high caliber stadiums. StarTex will seat 7,500 for baseball (expandable to 10,000) and can be used in alternate configurations for other events including football, soccer, lacrosse, cheerleading, band competitions, concerts, group outings and scout sleepovers.

With their amazing stadium's construction under way, Sugar Land was still considering membership in leagues like the American Association and the United Baseball league, because both organizations had teams located in Texas. However, they eventually decided on the ALPB in part because Opening Day Partners' other teams were already members. Sugar Land's entry into the Atlantic League was formally announced on May 18, 2010.

The Sugar Land Skeeters, the first of a planned four to six team Western Division, is the latest team in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and the only team in the league that plays outside what is referred to as the Northeast megalopolis. They start "taking hacks" at professional baseball April 2012.

Who's ready for Skeeters?!!!!!!

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