Thursday was the first home game of the season for the Corpus Christi Hooks, and while everyone is excited to catch the big season opener, 3News decided to pitch everyone a few economic facts about what the Hooks bring to our city.
The team is tied for first place after starting the year with six road games. Hooks General Manager Michael Wood is expecting a big crowd as his team begins its 13th season at home.
"I will hear from someone who says this stadium is the best thing that ever happened to Corpus Christi," Wood said. "Even 13 years later it's very common for me to hear that."
It's not only good for our local baseball fans, but it's also good for our economy. The team provides about 35 full-time jobs along with a number of year-round part-time jobs. On game days, there are about 200 people working on the field, the concessions and in the stands; and when the Hooks are home, their opponents, umpires, scouts and Major League officials all have to book hotel rooms.
"Probably around 30 hotel nights per game. We got 70 games, so over the course of the year it's over 2,000 hotel room nights," Wood said.
Over the past three years, the team has also upgraded its scoreboard and replaced the turf on the field, as well as improvements to stadium seats and luxury suites. Paulette Kluge, CEO of the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that is a great thing. Her organization uses Whataburger Field and the Hooks to sell clients on the city.
"When we're pitching a convention, it's something for them to do while they're here," Kluge said. "'Go out to the ballpark. Take all your people. Go to the ballpark, have some fun.' We use the suites at the ballpark to entertain clients, so bringing them to town, showing them how much fun it is, put them in a suite."
Kluge adds that the Hooks are an important part of how the city is able to continue to attract 1.3 million visitors each year. Those visitors bring in $1.3 billion.