Nov 8, 2013 3:59 PM
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Officials from the City of San Antonio and Ryan-Sanders Baseball announced today a two-year extension of H-E-B Big League Weekend, a two-game Major League Baseball exhibition at the iconic Alamodome. That announcement was only part of the big news coming from the high noon press conference at La Vista Terrace overlooking the Alamo.
The really big news is who will be playing next spring. The participants in the 2014 edition of Big League
Weekend are the state's two MLB representatives, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. The games
will be played on Friday, March 28 (7PM) and Saturday, March 29 (1PM). Two-game packages go on sale
next Friday, November 15 at 10AM, with single game tickets available Monday, December 2.
"The Rangers are very happy to be returning to San Antonio and Big League Weekend in 2014," said
Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels. "Ryan-Sanders Baseball put on a first class event
in 2013 and did an amazing job in converting the Alamodome into a Major League Baseball facility. The
reception we received playing before the tremendous fans of the San Antonio area was outstanding and
we look forward to another great series."
Over 75,000 fans packed the Alamodome earlier this year when the Rangers hosted the San Diego
Padres for two games. It was the first baseball event in the building's 20-year-history. While playing in
the Alamodome will not be a completely new experience for the Rangers, it will be for their American
League Western Division rivals.
"I thank Ryan-Sanders Baseball and the Texas Rangers for inviting us to play in these games," said Astros
President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "San Antonio is a great baseball town and being able to
take part in Big League Weekend gives us the chance to play in front of all our fans in South Texas."
Turning the Alamodome into a baseball facility is no easy task. Ryan-Sanders Baseball collaborated with
AstroTurf last year to build a 133,000 square-foot custom field for the Alamodome floor. In addition to
the turf, 300 cubic yards of dirt was brought in for the base around the infield. Custom dugouts,
bullpens, netting and walls were also installed. The overall conversion took almost three weeks. This
time the group plans to convert the dome in just three days.
"Seeing the Alamodome transform into a baseball field showed just how diverse the building is. We are thrilled to again have the opportunity to host Texas's two MLB teams in San Antonio," said Convention and Sports Facilities Director Michael Sawaya.
Even though feedback from players and fans was positive after the first-year event, Ryan-Sanders and the Alamodome will make slight modifications for the second year. Bullpens, which were previously hidden in the two South End tunnels, will now be located down the first- and third-base lines. The entire field will be moved slightly towards center field so that fans on the third-base line have a better view. Additional lighting is also being installed by the Alamodome to brighten the corners of the field.
While the baseball games anchor Big League Weekend, Ryan-Sanders Baseball also has other special activities planned around this year's event. The first of those is a "Hall of Fame Luncheon" on Thursday, March 27th. The luncheon will include several Major League Hall of Famers and well-known former Rangers and Astros.
Another new element is the "Big League Weekend Sports Collectible Show," hosted by Sports Collectibles of Houston. Located on the South End Club Level of the Alamodome, collectors and fans can buy and sell sports cards, autographs and memorabilia with dealers from all over the Southwest. The show also offers free appraisals, so fans can find out what their old sports items are worth. Many one-of-a-kind collectibles-including items from Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and other sports legends-will be on display. Admission to the Sports Collectibles Show is free with a game ticket each day.
The extension of the agreement between the city and Ryan-Sanders is only the first of two possible extensions that could take the event through 2017. "We couldn't be happier with the way the first year turned out," said Ryan-Sanders CEO Reese Ryan. "Our goal has always been to promote the game of baseball, and we're very appreciative of our partners with the city and also the San Antonio Missions. They (Missions) have been bringing baseball to the fans in San Antonio for over 100 years. We couldn't have done this without them."
To purchase tickets or for more information on H-E-B Big League Weekend, the Hall of Fame Luncheon or the Sports Collectibles Show, go to www.bigleagueweekend.com.