HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros acquisition of the Sugar Land Skeeters franchise was officially approved by the Sugar Land City Council today. As part of the agreement, the Astros and the City of Sugar Land partnered on a lease extension, keeping the Skeeters at Constellation Field through at least the 2045 season.
Following tonight’s announcement, the Astros now have majority ownership of the Sugar Land Skeeters, which will serve as the club’s Triple A affiliate beginning this season. Sugar Land joins the organization after spending the last nine years in the Independent Atlantic League (2012-20), which included two league titles for the Skeeters (2016, 2018).
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Sugar Land community long term,” said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. “Although the deal was finalized today, we’ve already been hard at work at Constellation Field to upgrade the facilities for our minor league players and to enhance the fan experience at the ballpark. Player development and winning at the minor league level have been a huge part of our organization and we look to continue that commitment in Sugar Land.”
In November, the Astros began renovations to Constellation Field. Improvements include new full field stadium netting, new batting cages, and a complete redesign of weight rooms and clubhouses, which will now include a full service kitchen. Other upgrades include the addition of new bullpen fan area, additional seating around the ballpark and a completely new playing surface made up of TifTuf Bermudagrass.
Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, who had owned the franchise since its inception in 2012, are now partners with the Astros and will maintain minority ownership.
“Our affiliation with the Astros is very unique and provides many new and exciting opportunities for our community,” said Sugar Land Mayor Joe R. Zimmerman. “Our residents identified minor league baseball as something we wanted to achieve a decade ago to grow entertainment and tourism, and we delivered on their request. Our partnership with the Houston Astros is a real home run for our regional economy. We look forward to welcoming new visitors to our City who have yet to discover what makes Sugar Land so special.”
In November, the Astros announced that an agreement had been reached with the City of Sugar Land and Major League Baseball to move their Triple A franchise from Round Rock, TX to Sugar Land. The club will play in the Pacific Coast League and will continue to operate and play games at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, which was opened in 2012. Constellation Field is located approximately 22 miles from Minute Maid Park.
The Skeeters inaugural season as an Astros affiliate will begin on Thursday, May 6 in Game 1 of a six-game series at Albuquerque. After two weeks on the road, the Skeeters Home Opener is set for Thursday, May 20 vs. El Paso.
As a result of this acquisition, the Astros now have ownership in three of their four full-season affiliates: the Triple A Sugar Land Skeeters, the Double A Corpus Christi Hooks and the Class A Fayetteville Woodpeckers.