Whataburger Field

Whataburger Field is a minor league baseball stadium located in Corpus Christi, Texas, United States. It is home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. It also serves as a secondary home to the Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Islanders college baseball team in addition to their own on-campus Chapman Field.[9]

Whataburger Field
Hookswhataburgerfieldlogo.jpg
Whataburge0r Field.jpg
Location734 East Port Avenue
Corpus Christi, Texas
United States
Coordinates27°48′34.5″N 97°23′58.9″W / 27.809583°N 97.399694°W / 27.809583; -97.399694Coordinates: 27°48′34.5″N 97°23′58.9″W / 27.809583°N 97.399694°W / 27.809583; -97.399694
OwnerCity of Corpus Christi[3]
OperatorCorpus Christi Baseball Club LP
Capacity7,679 (5,679 seats plus 2,000 in berms) [8]
Field sizeLeft field – 315 feet (96 m)
Left-center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-center – 375 feet (114 m)
Right field – 325 feet (99 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundApril 8, 2004[1]
OpenedApril 17, 2005[2]
Construction costUS$27.7 million[4]
($36.3 million in 2019 dollars[5])
ArchitectHKS, Inc., WKMC Architects, Inc. (associate)[3]
Project managerAG/CM Inc.[3]
Structural engineerKleinfelder[6]
Services engineerBlum Consulting Engineers, Inc.[7]
General contractorFulton-Coastcon-Hunt[3]
Tenants
Corpus Christi Hooks (TL) 2005–present

HistoryEdit

 
Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge as viewed beyond the right field wall
 
The 2007 Texas League Home Run Derby at Whataburger Field

The park, which opened in 2005, is located on what used to be old cotton warehouses on the city's waterfront.[4] Naming rights were paid for by Whataburger, Inc., which was headquartered in Corpus Christi before relocating to San Antonio in 2009. The USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium are visible from inside the park.[10] As of 2019, Whataburger Field features 5,679 fixed seats, 19 luxury suites and two outfield berm areas that are able to accommodate approximately 2,000 people.[10]

On June 30, 2005, the stadium unveiled For the Love of the Game, an 18-foot (5.5 m) statue depicting a young ballplayer in a contemplative pose. The statue is believed to be the largest bronze statue of a baseball player.

A pair of 1920s-era cotton presses border the videoboard in left field. Under a set of broken windows on the lefthand building, a sign reads "Bam-Bam" to commemorate a batting practice blast by Hooks outfielder Hunter Pence in 2006 that smashed one of the windows. Pence earned the nickname Bam-Bam because of his antics and similarities to the the baby of the same name on The Flintstones.[11]

On June 26, 2007, Whataburger Field played host to the 2007 Texas League All-Star game.[12]

The Southland Conference Baseball Tournament was played at Whataburger Field in 2009 and 2010. The conference tournament was scheduled to returm to the facility in 2020,[13] but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[14]

On June 10, 2010, the Houston Dynamo played the first-ever soccer match at Whataburger Field before a capacity crowd of 6,111, beating the Laredo Heat 2–1.[15] The Dynamo played in-state rival FC Dallas in a pre-season friendly on February 12, 2011 — becoming the second soccer match ever played at the stadium.[16]

Prior to the 2019 season, the Hooks and Whataburger renewed their naming rights agreement for a period of 15 years and announced a slew of changes. The roof of was painted with distinctive orange and white stripes, paying homage to the iconic pattern found at Whataburger restaurants and the private drive bordering the west side of the stadium was renamed Whataburger Way. As part of a ticket package, Whataburger 4Topps were added to the top of section 120, providing fans with the opportunity to dine at Whataburger-branded tables with adjoining 360-degree swivel chairs and Whataburger wait service.[17]

During a pregame ceremony on September 1, 2019, the Hooks announced plans to name the stadium entrance Ken Schrom Plaza, honoring their retiring longtime front office executive and president who was notorious for greeting fans at that very plaza before and after games.[18]

Spanning from right to center field and beyond, Whataburger Field offers fans views of Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge, which displays changing LED lights at night. A public lighting ceremony was held at the stadium on December 4, 2011. A new Harbor Bridge Project was underway as of 2017, expected to be completed by 2023, which will alter the bridge trajectory to beyond left field rather than right.

AmenitiesEdit

  • VIP Lounge – a covered area used for groups and parties
  • Driscoll Children's Hospital Fun Zone – a playground
  • Stripes Kid's Park – a youth baseball field
  • Sport Court basketball playing surface
  • Daktronics 21 ft (6.4 m) tall x 48 ft (15 m) wide videoboard, unveiled in 2014[11]
  • APEX Pool & Spa[10]
  • CITGO Cotton Club – an air-conditioned entertainment area redesigned prior to the 2019 season. The club area provides sweeping views of the field, Harbor Bridge and the downtown Corpus Christi skyline.[19]
  • Trampoline jump

FoodEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Today Is The Day". Corpus Christi Hooks. April 8, 2004. Archived from the original on May 3, 2004. Retrieved April 9, 2004.
  2. ^ "Hooks 2005 Schedule Released". Corpus Christi Hooks. June 28, 2004. Archived from the original on July 8, 2004. Retrieved March 12, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c d Knight, Graham (August 24, 2010). "Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi Hooks". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Mock, Joe. "Whataburger Field: What-A-Ballpark!". Baseball Parks. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  5. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "State & Local Government". Kleinfelder. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Whataburger Field". Blum Consulting Engineers, Inc. June 4, 2009. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Goldberg-Strassler, Jesse. "Whataburger Field / Corpus Christi Hooks". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Athletic Facilities". Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Athletics. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "Whataburger Field". Corpus Christi Hooks. Archived from the original on February 3, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2005.
  11. ^ a b https://www.milb.com/corpus-christi/news/hooks-celebrating-10th-season-in-style/c-74820964
  12. ^ "June 26, 2007: Texas League All-Star Game Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi, Texas". Texas League. June 26, 2007. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  13. ^ Quinton Martinez (December 5, 2019). "Whataburger Field to host Southland Conference baseball tournament". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Osburn, Stacey (March 12, 2020). "NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships". NCAA.org. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  15. ^ Kaplan, Jonathan (June 10, 2010). "Dynamo Defeat Laredo Heat 2-1". Houston Dynamo. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  16. ^ "Dynamo, FC Dallas to Square Off in Corpus" (Press release). Houston Dyanmo. December 21, 2010.
  17. ^ https://www.milb.com/corpus-christi/news/hooks-whataburger-extend-ballpark-naming-rights/c-304779442
  18. ^ https://www.milb.com/corpus-christi/news/corpus-christi-proclaims-september-1-ken-schrom-day/c-310469226
  19. ^ "Luxury Suite". Corpus Christi Hooks. Archived from the original on May 12, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.

External linksEdit