Constellation Field – Sugar Land Space Cowboys
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Constellation Field 1 Stadium Drive Sugar Land, TX 77498
Year Opened: 2012
Traveling Through Space with the Cowboys
The Sugar Land Space Cowboys made their debut for the 2022 Pacific Coast League season. It was a bold new name for the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate that is a 30-minute ride from Minute Maid Park. The space connection between the two organizations hopes to solidify a partnership that began in 2020 after MLB cut ties with 40 ball clubs in the minor leagues.
The team began operations as the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League in 2012. A league where most of its members were situated in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Long Island, New York. The hope at the time of its expansion into Texas was to have more cities nearby, but by the time the ball club left in 2021, the closest opponent was 1,130 miles away in High Point, North Carolina.
Constellation Field cost $37 million to build and includes 7,500 seats, a wraparound concourse, and a Texas-shaped scoreboard. The focus is for fans to enjoy various food and drink options and allow time for the kids to enjoy areas such as the Splash Zone and Playland behind the center field.
Food & Beverage 4
Constellation Field has an eclectic abundance of food from your normal ballpark snacks to a few local options. The Galactic Grill stands are the main areas for your favorites that include hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken tenders, burgers, fries, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, and soda. If you are with the kids, this is the spot, but also check out the bottomless popcorn buckets at the Buttered & Boozed stand on the 1st base side of the concourse.
The regional options include nachos that include barbecue and Buffalo chicken style at the TEX-MEX stand and a few feet from it is the Burger Kitchen that serves scratch-made burgers and chicken tender baskets. These are more of the grown-up variety and come in huge portions. Not so huge are the slices at The Slice Pizza Spot where fans can purchase a regular slice or one topped with pepperoni. Once again, perhaps a stop for the little ones.
Behind the outfield concourse is probably the best spot for barbecue and for around under $15 gets you a two-meat combo of either brisket, pulled pork, sausage links, or sliced brisket. The beer options include macro brands from Miller, Modello, and Much Ultra, but also Houston’s own St. Arnold Brewing Company. The 20-ounce cans are available out of the coolers in the grab-and-go section. Another area brewery, Karbach Brewing Company sells the Crawford Bock cans that are designed like the Astros tequila sunrise uniforms of 1975-1986.
An honest-to-goodness atmosphere that is a collection of die-hards and casual fans enjoying a night out of baseball with friends and family. The ballpark has a little bit of everything that begins with a nice look at the ballpark exterior and main entrance located down the third baseline.
The Pool Pavilion is located in the left field corner, is geared towards children only, and includes water spouts to cool them off during the hot summer heat. Adjacent to the pool is the kid’s play land that features a brand new sports court and playground options. The Bud Light Ice House features a bar, outdoor games, and Adirondack chairs behind the center field wall. Next door to the bar is the splash zone, another area for the kids to get wet during the game, and is open to any single ticket holder.
The area features buckets of water raining down on the kids, while they forget a baseball game is taking place. The Grass Land is where the lawn seats are located and features a nice even slope to enjoy the game, a small narrow bridge connects the seating area with the main concourse. There are also a few inflatable rides for the kids down the third base end of the concourse. This is among the better kids’ zones at a minor-league ballpark.
Orion is the official mascot of the team and he can be found throughout the stadium. The souvenir shop offers an ample amount of team merchandise from t-shirts, caps, and official team jerseys. The colorful look, styles, and branding could keep visitors busy for a while in the crowded shop. The scoreboard lights up with the team colors of light blue, orange, and navy blue once it gets dark.
Sugar Land is one of the most affluent and fastest-growing cities in Texas. Its population has boomed from 24,529 in 1990 to 117,869 in 2018. A former company town that was home to Imperial Sugar only became a general law city in 1959. Current plans call for transforming the former Imperial Sugar plant into a mix-used lifestyle center that looks to open sometime in 2019.
The 850,000 square foot area will be within walking/biking distance of the ballpark and features an upscale restaurant and retail space, residential units, a hotel, and the Ft. Bend Children’s Discovery Center. All around the ballpark you can see residential and retail complexes popping up that will create a walking and livable space for the ballpark.
Downtown Houston is 19 miles away, but traffic can seem much further. There are enough restaurants and places to keep you busy in Sugar Land. Sugar Land Square is a primary entertainment district featuring restaurants, sidewalk cafes, shopping venues, and a public plaza. Jupiter Pizza and Waffle Company, The Rouxpour, The Sugar Refinery, and The Burning Pear are just a few of the local options to choose from at the square. If you are in search of Tex-Mex and barbecue options, Brookstone BBQ, Rudy’s Bar-B-Que, Torchy’s Tacos, Lopez Mexican Restaurant, and Lupe Tortilla are among the options.
The Cowboys average attendance was 3,412 fans per game this past season, well over 1,000 fewer who saw them play as the Skeeters in the season before the pandemic. The stadium experience was not too much different when there were the Skeeters and many parents enjoyed a break with their children running around the kids zone in the outfield.
The ballpark is easy to navigate through games. The concourse is wide, wraps around the field, and offers plenty of signage for exits, concessions, and bathrooms. The stadium itself is located a few miles off Highway 90 and near Interstate 69. The only spot that gets a bit cumbersome is walking behind the pool pavilion toward the kid’s play area.
Return on Investment 4
The lowest ticket for a game is $10 and parking is equal in price. All ticket purchases are digital and cannot be purchased at the team’s box office at the stadium. The cost of food and drinks averages as low as a regular hot dog at $6.19 to as high as $12.99 for barbecue nachos. Merchandise is plenty and there are various styles and colors to choose from at the gift shop. The ballpark is officially a Triple-A ballpark, but still the Double-A design that was quite popular in the Atlantic League when it was built.
Sugar Land receives a point for the Texas-shaped scoreboard, somewhat reminiscent of the one that stood at Arlington Stadium between 1972-1993. The scoreboard is a definite focal point of the ballpark and lights up after a club wins. The kids zone offers a splash pad playground and areas for outdoor games. The spaced theme areas include the Galatic Grill, a mural featuring the club’s mascot, and the playing of the Jonzons Crew 1983 song “Space Cowboy” after a win. The final point is for the indoor batting cage that is available for fans during the game.
Constellation Field offers a nice alternative for baseball in the Houston area; it is a place where families can sit back and enjoy a night out without paying for an arm and a leg. There is plenty of activity to keep the kids busy and numerous seating options to make it a decent night of baseball.