Thursday, January 29, 2015

Has Astros lost Austin and San Antonio market?

Last week I was down at Academy in south Austin for Houston Astros caravan. The guests listed for event are Alan Ashby, Chad Qualls, and Marwin Gonzalez. I got there hour before they were schedule and surprisingly I was first in line. Just as they scheduled appeared there was approximately 20 people in line. Alan Ashby no-showed the event leaving appearance of Qualls and Gonzalez. I chatted with both of them, but all I notice was lack of crowd despite appearance of both players and Orbit. Few of those that was in line happen to be at San Antonio location from previous day admit there wasn't much of a crowd there as well. It's far cry when Rangers caravan was in town two weeks ago up in Cedar Park which is north of Austin. There was a huge line before schedule and giving vouchers on autographs. Last week was came as you go on meeting Astros. It makes me wonder has Astros lost the Hill Country market? The rainy weather on that day didn't help the attendance. Was it list of guests that's scheduled to be there? Have fans got tired of their losing and "lack of star power" just made them not care anyone? Possible changes from the past that end up haunting them to current. Round Rock used to be Astros AAA affiliate til they switched to Rangers which still continue on. Astros took Oklahoma City which was formerly Rangers affiliate. Then came affiliation change which Astros got screwed out of. Colorado Rockies took their AAA affiliation to Albuquerque. The former affiliate Los Angeles Dodgers took Oklahoma City as their AAA club leaving Fresno, California as the only option for Astros to pick. Since Fresno in west division of PCL and they already played up in Round Rock in 2014 leaving their next appearance in 2016. The closest Astros fans in the area to see prospects and minor leaguers play in San Antonio, a hour and half drive, when Corpus Christi Hooks come in the area. If they want see Astros live get on 290 and go east for 3 hours. This makes it harder for Astros fans in Hill Country area to see the present and the future. Let's not forget original TV deal debacle with defunct CSN Houston which left them off TV. What once area split between Astros and Rangers fans becoming majority Rangers market. Hopefully good things to come for Astros now they have TV deal with ROOT and to improve over last year win total.

1 comment:

  1. Dang... Only 20 people there? That's really sad, as I would have expected a bigger turnout in Austin for the Astros, even in spite of everything. Granted that Marwin and Qualls aren't marquee guys, but I think you're right and the Astros have lost the market there. The good news is that better days are ahead for Houston, and if they can take over the Round Rock franchise again in a couple of years, I expect they'll start gaining ground and gaining fans all over Texas again.