Big League Weekend transforms the Alamodome into a baseball field. Courtesy photo.
Big League Weekend transforms the Alamodome into a baseball field.

For the third year, San Antonio baseball fans will have the chance to catch a Major League Baseball (MLB) series—without the four-hour car trip and overnight lodging expenses. The Alamodome will again play host to the San Antonio Big League Weekend (BLW), a two-game exhibition series on March 20 and 21, 2015. This year’s series between the Texas Rangers and the 2014 NL West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers features the most talented teams yet.

At the inaugural event in 2013, over 75,000 fans came to watch the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers play in the first baseball games in Alamodome history. 2014 attendance dropped to about 50,000 fans for the interstate series between the Texas Rangers and the rebuilding Houston Astros.

The 2015 series should appeal to casual and serious fans alike by offering exciting, recognizable players and teams with historical ties to San Antonio. The Rangers had an injury-ravaged 2014 season, but they have a large following all over Texas and have a number of big-name players—Adrián Beltré, Yu Darvish, Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo — who should be ready by spring training.

About 75,000 fans pack the Alamodome during the 2013 Big League Weekend. Photo courtesy of The City of San Antonio.
About 75,000 fans pack the Alamodome during the 2013 Big League Weekend. Photo courtesy of The City of San Antonio.

The Dodgers won the 2014 NL West Division before flaming out in the National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. They boast some of baseball’s most recognizable stars in reigning MVP and Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw and outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.

While Kershaw’s accomplishments from last year are known to the most casual MLB fan, few may remember San Antonio’s baseball ties to the Dodgers. From 1977-2000, San Antonio’s Double-A team (now the Missions) was part of the Dodgers’ farm system as their minor league affiliate. The team even bore the name “San Antonio Dodgers” from 1977-1986. Longtime Missions fans may remember watching the Rangers’ 2014 offensive leader, Adrián Beltré, during his 58-game stint with the Missions in 1998 before he got his call up to the Dodgers that year.

The improved entertainment value of this year’s series is one of a few noteworthy changes that event organizers and Ryan Sanders Baseball and promoters Qcue Inc. hope will build on event’s success.

Another change Ryan Sanders Baseball made was to move the event up one week to center it in the Spring Break sweet spot, enabling more families to attend: “By moving to the third weekend in March, we are now able to market the games to all the families that enjoy Spring Break around Texas at that time,” said Big League Weekend Executive Director J.J. Gottsch.

Qcue Inc. was brought in to help the organizers rescale the venue to bring out the “uniqueness of the Alamodome as a baseball venue.” In addition to these changes, they will introduce a dynamic pricing model that sets individualized ticket prices based on the particular stadium, rather than basing them off similar seats in other venues. Tickets are on sale now, with prices ranging from $10-$95.

*Featured/top image: Big League Weekend transforms the Alamodome into a baseball field. Courtesy photo.

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Hunter Bates

Hunter Bates is a native San Antonian. He teaches developmental English at Palo Alto College, where he also directs the student literary journal. Make a fast friend: talk to him about the Spurs, '60s music,...