CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball Club and Whataburger announced a renewed 15-year partnership on Tuesday, cementing Whataburger Field as the name of Corpus Christi's one-of-a-kind, harbor-front ballpark for another generation. The partnership will commence in 2019, a year prior to the expiration of the previous agreement, solidifying the deep-rooted relationship and history that the Hooks, Whataburger, and the city of Corpus Christi all share.
The Hooks and Whataburger are wasting no time in showcasing their renewed alliance. The roof of Whataburger Field will be painted with distinctive orange and white stripes, paying homage to the iconic pattern found at Whataburger restaurants. The bright rooftop will be a welcoming sight for air travelers and motorists on the new Harbor Bridge, currently under construction next to the ballpark.
The private drive bordering the west side of the stadium will now be named "Whataburger Way". Whataburger 4Topps will line the top of Section 120, providing fans with the unique opportunity to dine at Whataburger branded tables with adjoining 360-degree swivel chairs and Whataburger wait service.
In conjunction with the renewed stadium naming rights announcement, the Hooks heralded that Whataburger will serve as the first corporate partner of the new Corpus Christi Hooks Community Leaders Program, which will support youth sports, military, and other charitable initiatives throughout the Coastal Bend community.
To celebrate the renewed future of Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, all fans in attendance on Saturday, April 6 will receive exclusive Whataburger, 15th Season Jerseys.
"Whataburger backed us from the beginning, before we even had a name, and I am delighted our two brands remain linked," Hooks Founder and Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan said. "This partnership allows us to continue our mission of growing the game of baseball, investing in the community, and providing South Texas families with excellent customer service and first-class entertainment. It's also a great example of Whataburger continuing to build upon their commitment to the city in which they were born."
Whataburger Field, completed in 2005 at a cost of $25 million, has established itself as one of the top venues in Minor League Baseball. A fan-favorite feature is the 1,000-square-foot Whataburger restaurant which sits on the concourse behind home plate.
"Whataburger is proud to continue supporting local baseball through the renewal of Whataburger Field and our partnership with the Corpus Christi Hooks," said John Dolan, Whataburger Regional Director of Operations. "Baseball has been especially important to us because it represents the legacy of our founder, Harmon Dobson, who sponsored Little League teams when he opened the first restaurant in 1950, right here in Corpus Christi. We look forward to many more years of baseball, community and friendship to come."
The Hooks' current stadium lease with the City of Corpus Christi runs through 2035. The Astros have enriched this commitment by investing $3.2 million in ballpark improvements over the last six years. Projects range from installing a state-of-the-art Daktronics LED video display, which tripled the size of the original board, to redesigning and expanding the suite-level Cotton Club.
"We appreciate the continued partnership between Whataburger and the Corpus Christi Hooks," Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. "These hometown favorites have brought baseball, burgers and our bayfront to thousands of visitors and residents. Their on-going impact has become the jewel of the SEA District and we are excited to see what the extended partnership brings our community."
Astros Futures Weekend is on the books for March 30 at Whataburger Field. The 6:15 contest between the Hooks and Round Rock Express is part of a home-and-home exhibition series which showcases the top two levels of the Houston farm system.
Hooks Baseball officially opens its 15th season of play Thursday, April 4 at Whataburger Field as the San Diego Padres' new Double-A affiliate, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, come to town.