Attendance at Constellation Field Sets Record, Gains National Prominence
Sugar Land’s Constellation Field is expected to easily surpass the City’s conservative revenue projections as sellout crowds contribute to Atlantic League attendance records.
Funded with a portion of sales tax revenues that may only be used for economic development purposes, the $36 million 7,500-seat stadium is a year-round community amenity that will include baseball, concerts, community events and more. The stadium is also an economic asset expected to support the regional economy through direct revenue from the stadium, as well as hotels, restaurants and other retail establishments.
A feasibility Study performed in 2009 projected average attendance of 3,314 per game or 300,000 annually. Using this benchmark study data, City planners forecast an annual benefit to the City of $7.7 million or a return of $169 million to our economy over 30 years.
Actual figures to date show an average attendance of 6,751 per game or a total of more than 250,000, and the Sugar Land Skeeters are only halfway through the season.
Attendance figures for Constellation Field have broken all records for the Independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
When compared to minor league teams affiliated with Major League Baseball, Sugar Land ranks third in Texas behind the Triple A Round Rock Express and Double A Frisco Roughriders:
· Round Rock Express (Triple A, Average Game Attendance: 8,339)
· Frisco Roughriders (Double A, Average Game Attendance: 7,697)
· Sugar Land (Independent, Average Game Attendance: 6,751)
· Corpus Christi Hooks (Double A, Average Game Attendance: 5,247)
· Midland Rock Hounds (Double A, Average Game Attendance: 4,671)
· San Antonio Missions (Double A, Average Game Attendance: 4,385)
In a national comparison of all professional minor league baseball teams, both affiliated and independent, Sugar Land’s average game attendance is in the top 25.
“It is hard to believe it was just about a year ago that we broke ground on our new minor league baseball stadium – Constellation Field,” said Mayor James Thompson. “It was an aggressive schedule, but we were determined to be ready for opening day -- on time and on budget.”
The idea of expanding the City’s entertainment options was identified years ago when economic studies proved that destination venues are excellent ways to support existing businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, and attract new employers. The initial vision for minor league baseball was developed by citizens serving on our Visioning Task Force. This group established a goal to enhance entertainment and family-oriented opportunities within our community.
As part of the project, City Council ensured the stadium would not negatively impact existing neighborhoods. “Quality of Life” studies were performed addressing noise, lighting, traffic and public safety; the City continues to monitor these areas to ensure there is no impact on neighborhoods.
Sugar Land partnered with Opening Day Partners, LLC in 2010 to bring professional minor league baseball to Sugar Land. ODP -- an experienced community-focused operator that emphasizes year-round community events and activities at their stadiums – owns and operates Sugar Land's baseball team. ODP is the owner of the Sugar Land Skeeters, an Atlantic League expansion team.
The stadium lease agreement with ODP includes the following terms:
· A 25-year net lease includes ODP’s first right to negotiate renewal terms of lease.
· ODP will operate the stadium and offsite parking for all events.
· Permitted stadium uses will include baseball games, conventions, concerts, movies, meetings, festivals and fundraising galas.
· ODP will retain all revenues from stadium activities.
· The City will receive annual rent payments of $80,000 plus an additional participation rent.
· ODP will be responsible for stadium repairs and maintenance.
“Constellation Field is definitely an historic milestone for our City,” said Thompson. “We’ve said repeatedly that the Sugar Land Skeeters will be a first-class operation. When you consider the affordable ticket prices of minor league baseball, the quality product we have put on the field and the wholesome family atmosphere, it’s safe to say that we’ve hit a HOMERUN!”