StarTex Power gets naming rights to new minor league ball park

Houston-based electric retailer StarTex Power has purchased naming rights to the minor league baseball park planned for Sugar Land.

The Sugar Land Skeeters will play at StarTex Power Field, which is scheduled for groundbreaking this spring with opening day scheduled in April 2012.

The stadium is being planned as a multipurpose facility that will also allow for football, soccer, lacrosse, cheerleading and concerts. It will seat 7,500 for ball games but can be expanded to 10,000 or about 9,500 for concerts, the park owners say. Organizers hope it will have 21 corporate suites, which tend to be big money makers for ballpark operators, upper level club seating, a year-round meeting and dining space, a picnic area and playgrounds.

“Investing our advertising dollars into the community in a meaningful way is consistent with our corporate values,” StarTex Chairman Marcie Zlotnik said in a statement. “Baseball is a community connector and will bring together the city of Sugar Land, and the rest of Houston, for so many fun events, family moments and memories. With over 70,000 customers in Fort Bend and the surrounding counties, we’re proud to give back to our customers and continue our commitment to community partnerships with such a fun and exciting project.”

Founded in 2004, StarTex is one of the dozens of companies that sell electricity to residential and commercial customers in Texas. The company doesn’t own power plants but rather buys electricity from wholesale power providers to resell to end users. It’s one of the largest of the “independent” power providers, those that aren’t affiliated with major power plant operators like Reliant Energy or TXU, with 165,000 customers.

Electric company names on stadiums have been a source of friction in the past. TXU put up billboards around Reliant Stadium back in 2005 proclaiming “There is no TXU Stadium. We pass the savings on to you.” The jab prompted Mattress Mack to fire back at Dallas-based TXU.

Image: Artist’s rendering of the planned minor league ball park/Courtesy of Sugar Land Skeeters