Sugar Land City Council unanimously approved an agreement that formalizes the city’s partnership with the Houston Astros and finalizes the Sugar Land Skeeters acquisition by the Astros during its April 20 meeting.
Additionally, the agreement includes a 25-year lease of Constellation Field, which guarantees the Skeeters will play in Sugar Land through the 2045 season.
The 2021 season will be the Skeeters’ first as the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, and the Astros now have the majority ownership of the team.
The Seekers previously played in the Atlantic League—which is unaffiliated with Major League Baseball—from 2012-20. The Zlotnik family has owned the Skeeters since 2012 and will maintain minority ownership, according to a release from the team.
“I’m super excited to hand over the keys and ride shotgun as the Astros take over operational control,” Kevin Zlotnik said during the City Council meeting.
Assistant City Manager Jennifer May said a citizen-led Visioning Task Force identified the desire to have a minor league team and stadium in Sugar Land in 2007 as a way to expand the city’s economic base.
“2021 may be the year that we play our first Triple-A game in Sugar Land, but this was really made possible a decade ago from the community’s vision and the City Council’s decision to construct the stadium with this opportunity in mind,” May said.
Prior to the Skeeters' first home game as the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate May 20, $8 million of renovations are underway at Constellation Field, said Giles Kibbe, senior vice president and general counsel for the Houston Astros.
As part of the agreement approved April 20, the city of Sugar Land will fund capital expenses related to Constellation Field, while the team is responsible for maintenance and operations costs.
“We are committed to being great community partners and providing this wonderful facility to the people in Sugar Land,” Kibbe said. “We are really happy about the partnership that has been established with the city of Sugar Land and are very appreciative of the Zlotniks and what they’ve done in Sugar Land as well as their involvement with the Astros organization.”