While the Astros struggle through the growing pains associated with their new regional sports network and its widespread lack of availability, the Texas Rangers continue their aggressive campaign to pilfer the fan base. The Rangers’ latest ploy is a pair of exhibition games scheduled to take place in San Antonio this spring.
Yesterday the Rangers announced plans to convert the Alamodome into a baseball stadium for a couple of days in March. Apparently it wasn’t enough for Nolan Ryan and company to stake a claim on the Austin area, they want the Alamo City as well.
Austin and San Antonio have been Astro territory since before the Rangers existed. But the times they are a changin’. In recent years the Rangers have made every attempt to unseat the Astros as the most popular team in the state.
First, Ryan and the Rangers kicked the Astros out of Round Rock and firmly planted themselves in the Austin suburb. Now they are making their move on San Antonio. The number of games, the exact dates, and the Rangers opponents in the Alamodome have yet to be made public. Reid Ryan, Nolan’s son and the CEO of the AAA Round Rock Express, said the details will be announced in a Friday news conference.
San Antonio city officials are excited to be hosting the games and partnering with the Rangers. San Antonio has been home to the AA Missions for over a century and in recent years the city has expressed a desire to add another professional sports franchise to compliment the NBA’s Spurs.
It looks like the Astros have been beaten to the punch on this one. As the Rangers continue to expand their brand into areas once dominated by the Astros, Jim Crane can only stand by and watch idly. Young fans are an important demographic that the Astros are undoubtedly losing out on. Texans under the age of eighteen know the Astros as losers and the Rangers as winners. Add in the fact that the Astros are having difficulty signing providers to carry their games on television and it looks like the Rangers are truly destined to become the most popular team in Texas.