Baseball fans, it’s official. The Houston Astros have inked a deal with the City of Sugar Land and Major League Baseball to move their Triple A franchise from Round Rock, Texas to Sugar Land, the team announced on November 20.
The deal means the Astros will also acquire majority ownership of the Sugar Land Skeeters, the beloved local affiliate, by the end of the year. The club will play in the Pacific Coast League and will continue to play games at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field, according to a press release.
Now, as a result of the agreement, the Astros will own their Single A (Fayetteville, Arkansas), Double A (Corpus Christi, Texas), and Triple A affiliates. Given that Constellation Field is a mere 22 miles from Minute Maid Park, as opposed to Round Rock, the agreement means the Astros can conveniently keep their Triple A operations within the Greater Houston area.
“We are excited to bring Triple A baseball to Sugar Land, which is a great city with great fans,” said Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane, in a release. “We look forward to partnering with the City of Sugar Land’s great leadership to reinvest into the ballpark to make it one of the best Triple A facilities in the country. I also want to personally thank Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, who were instrumental in bringing baseball to Sugar Land.”
Immensely popular in the community and boasting a fervent following, the Skeeters launched in 2010 as an expansion team in the Atlantic League. The club won two Atlantic League championships in 2016 and 2018. The Skeeters were the first independent league baseball team in Sugar Land and the first minor league team in the Greater Houston area since the Houston Buffaloes.
Catching a Skeeters game means fans can sometimes catch a legend on the minor league diamond. In 2012, MLB Hall of Famer and local hero Roger Clemens pitched for the team at 50 years old. Local fans will also now have an opportunity to watch Astros players who rotate into Triple A or are rehabilitating injuries.