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Rangers to Play First-Ever Games in Alamodome

November 16, 2012 - Texas League (TL) Corpus Christi Hooks

SAN ANTONIO - The Alamodome has a fantastic track record of hosting major events.

Think about it. Fans from San Antonio and South Texas have enjoyed some of entertainment's great spectacles. Dramatic college football and high school playoff games. The NFL. The Final Four. An NBA All-Star Game and several Spurs championship finals. Boxing and wrestling. Countless major concerts.

In its nearly 20-year history, the Alamodome has seen just about everything... except baseball.

That changes next spring when Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers come to town for San Antonio's "Big League Weekend."

The Rangers play a two-game exhibition set against the San Diego Padres. The games are Friday, March 29, at 7:05 pm and Saturday, March 30, at 1:05 pm. Tickets go on sale to the general public at noon on Friday, November 30.

Corpus Christi Hooks fans can take advantage of a special presale beginning Friday, November 23, at noon.

The event was announced this morning at a press conference on the floor of the Alamodome. In attendance were officials from the Rangers, Padres, Ryan Sanders Baseball, the San Antonio Missions, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County.

"We're excited about the opportunity to be playing in the first-ever baseball games in the Alamodome," said Rangers President and CEO Nolan Ryan. "We appreciate the support of everyone involved from the city, the Missions and the Padres as well."

Turning the Alamodome into a baseball facility is no easy task. Ryan Sanders Baseball, the group charged with running the event, has collaborated with AstroTurf - the official synthetic turf supplier of Major League Baseball - to build a 133,000 square-foot custom field for the Alamodome floor. AstroTurf is obviously rooted in Texas baseball, as the brand is named after the site of its initial use at the Houston Astrodome.

"AstroTurf is thrilled to see baseball in the Alamodome," said Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf. "We are so proud to be involved with these two superb ball clubs and to be a part of this historic event."

Other modifications include custom fencing, walls, padding, netting, dugouts, bullpens, foul poles and more.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done before March," said Ryan Sanders CEO Reid Ryan, "but we've got a great team in place and have the right partners to get there. This obviously can't happen without the Rangers and Padres, but ultimately it was Dave Elmore and the San Antonio Missions that made this a reality. This market has been the Missions' for over 100 years and we are grateful for Dave's willingness to partner on the event. In appreciation, we've put together a lot of great offers for their fans."

First and foremost, Missions season-ticket holders and suite holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the event. Big League Weekend and the Missions will also create programs to benefit local charities.

"This event is going to be a real treat for baseball fans in San Antonio and the surrounding areas," said San Antonio Missions President, Burl Yarbrough. "We are very pleased to help play a part in bringing the 'Big League Weekend' to the Alamodome. This will be the perfect way to showcase Major League Baseball with the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres and to get everybody ready for the 2013 regular season."

The Padres, who play in the National League West Division, are the parent club of the Missions. "We are looking forward to having the opportunity of playing in the Alamodome," said Padres Executive Vice President/ General Manager Josh Byrnes. "Our organization has strong ties to San Antonio and we are honored to participate in such a unique baseball event."

"Playing against the Rangers in San Antonio in this unique venue will be a fantastic opportunity as we prepare for Opening Day," said Padres Manager Bud Black. "Many of our players taking part in that weekend will be guys who were on the 2007 and 2011 Texas League Championship teams and we'll be looking forward to Missions' fans having a chance to see them, and all of our 2013 squad, playing in San Antonio."

With the configuration for baseball, the Alamodome will seat over 50,000 people. A sell-out or standing-room-only crowd would create the possibility of the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game in Texas.

"We want as many people as possible to be able to witness this event," Reid Ryan stated. "Although these games will feature two major league teams, we made every effort to keep tickets affordable and a great value for baseball fans in San Antonio and for those coming in from out of town." Ticket prices will range from $10-$55, with an average ticket price of just over $25. "With over 50% of the tickets priced at $15 or under, this is going to be a great value for a lot of people," Ryan added.

Ryan Sanders Baseball and the City of San Antonio have agreed to a one-year deal with two, two-year extensions. In addition to the two major league games in 2013, officials said there would be other events surrounding the games at the Alamodome and throughout San Antonio over the weekend.

Specific events, dates and times will be announced at a later date.

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