Sugar Land, TX – The city of Sugar Land and Sugar Land Skeeters anticipate continued strong contributions to the local community and economy as the Skeeters prepare for opening day at Constellation Field against the New Britain Bees on April 27.
Managing the team this year will be Pete Incaviglia, who played 12 seasons in the big leagues, including two with the Houston Astros. He is college baseball’s all-time leader in home runs and added another 206 long balls in the major leagues.
With plenty of entertainment planned for 2018 – including monthly Saturday night concerts by the Spazmatics, Roger Creager and more, the seats at Constellation Field are again expected to be filled for another exciting season. The city’s minor league baseball stadium has been an important contributor to the local economy and to the Sugar Land community.
A market analysis and feasibility study prior to the stadium’s construction projected an annual paid attendance of 308,500. Total attendance in 2017 was 446,487 – more than 44% higher than projected, with baseball attendance up nearly 2.5 percent from 2016 to 2017. The growth in baseball attendance is particularly impressive considering the 2016 figure included the team’s Atlantic League Championship playoff run – in addition to the team hosting fewer regular season home games in 2017 due to cancellations caused by Hurricane Harvey. When factoring in year-round events, Constellation Field has exceeded attendance projections by more than 40 percent in each of its first six seasons.
“The Skeeters organization appreciates the incredible community support over the past six years and we are extremely excited to see everyone at Constellation Field in 2018 for another thrilling season,” said Skeeters Director Kevin Zlotnik. “We believe our schedule is full of promotions and events that families will find fun and entertaining!”
The Sugar Land Skeeters’ impact was also felt in the community last year. Fundraising efforts on behalf of the team touched more than 100 local organizations, with over $162,000 raised for community groups. Additionally, during Hurricane Harvey, Constellation Field hosted 350 evacuees and 150 pets. Discounted ticket prices were made available for the remainder of season, and free tickets were provided to first responders and flood victims. The Skeeters Foundation, whose goal is to reward the kindness and support of the community by making a difference in the lives of others, raised $20,000 for local causes during home games following the storm, and Atlantic League partners also donated items, money and time to the recovery efforts.
The baseball stadium was identified by a citizen-led Visioning Task Force in 2007 that recommended a set of entertainment and destination amenities. City voters overwhelmingly approved funding tools for the venues in November 2008.
No property tax dollars were used to build Constellation Field. The construction of the stadium -- which has a seating capacity of 7,500 and expands to 10,000 for concerts -- was made possible with sales tax revenue restricted by state law for economic development purposes. The city’s private sector partner also contributed $6 million toward construction. That means that Sugar Land residents receive the benefit of the stadium’s impact while the city maintains the second lowest property tax rate in Texas among cities its size.
The stadium hosts approximately 70 baseball games each year and is now a year-round amenity that also offers concerts, community events, corporate functions and private celebrations. More than 120,000 people attended special events such cultural festivals, college baseball tournaments and other activities during 2017. Overall, the feasibility study conservatively estimated an annual direct and indirect community economic benefit of $7.7 million – or a return of $169 million to the economy over 30 years.
“Constellation Field continues to be an important amenity and destination entertainment venue for our community – in terms of both the success of the Skeeters on the field and in regards to the community contributions made by the players and team executives,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “With over 100 events open to the public last year, our stadium meets the entertainment and cultural needs of our citizens and is an important tourism venue that brings visitors to Sugar Land – for baseball, community celebrations, concerts and more.”
To learn more about the Sugar Land Skeeters in 2018 and purchase tickets, visit www.sugarlandskeeters.com.