For the third year in a row, the Texas Rangers will start their trek to a World Series title in the Alamo City.
The two-game preseason exhibition is more than just a tune-up for the two clubs. It is a chance for San Antonians to meet Major League Baseball (MLB) legends such as Pete Rose and Nolan Ryan. The Kings of the Diamond Dinner at the Marriott Plaza Thursday night will allow patrons to hear stories often relegated to the clubhouse and get personal memorabilia signed.
Local MLB fans will recall speculation four years ago of relocating the Tampa Bay Rays to San Antonio. While there was talk of possibly acquiring another professional sports team from the National Football League (NFL) or Major League Soccer (MLS), the MLB seemed most plausible.
With slumping ticket sales and local television blackouts of Tampa Bay baseball games, 2011 was a tumultuous year for Stuart L. Sternberg, the team’s managing general partner. Despite competitive regular-season campaigns and two consecutive post-season appearances, the question of relocation was pervasive.
Rumors once again stirred in 2014 when the Oakland Athletics began their negotiation with the city of Oakland. Seeking a 10-year lease extension at the O.co Coliseum, they dangled the possibility of moves to Montreal or San Antonio. The lucrative proposition of boasting another professional sports team in the city involved the familiar issue of the Alamodome’s age and inferior facilities.
At the start of 2015, San Antonio City Council approved a $43.5 million renovation package for the Alamodome. The renovation project is lauded by city leaders and played a primary role in the National Collegiate Athletic Association‘s (NCAA) decision to host the Men’s Division I Final Four games here in 2018. It allows San Antonio to take a serious step into the market for other professional sporting events and teams.
As fans plan to pack the 22 year-old “third generation facility” for another glimpse of the MLB, one thing is certain – it’s still “one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game.”