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Schuster: Sugar Land plans don’t affect Montgomery County team

Mark Schuster says that any plans to bring an affiliated or Atlantic League team into suburban Sugar Land won't affect his plans to bring an American Association team into Montgomery County.

The drama over the future of baseball in the Houston suburbs continues, as Mark Schuster — the managing partner at Ventura Sports, the group bringing independent American Association baseball to Montgomery County — says his group is moving full-steam ahead no matter what happens in Sugar Land.

In the last month Houston has been the seat of intrigue in the baseball world after Peter Kirk signed an MOU with Sugar Land to develop a new ballpark and bring in pro baseball. After the Houston Astros killed any plans for an affiliated team in Sugar Land, officials there turned to the indy market and signed the deal with Kirk. (More details of that deal are emerging: we're told Kirk plans on putting an independent Atlantic League team in Sugar Land, flying the team and opponent in and out for games.) We're also told Kirk intimated he could bring in an affiliated team — and the Astros are reevaluating their opposition to affiliated ball in Sugar Land.

All of this is well and good, Schuster told us, but doesn't change his plans for Montgomery County. Both Kirk and Schuster are targeting affluent suburbs, and several market studies (including one prepared for Sugar Land by CSL) say baseball will be a success in both markets. And they are distinct markets, some 50 miles apart on the freeway.

We're also not totally eliminating the prospect that Kirk will seek an American Association team for Sugar Land. The American Association already has a schedule suited for Texas: that circuit's season ends relatively early in order not to compete with high-school football, a religion of sorts in the Lone Star State. The Atlantic League, by contrast, plays well into the fall. 

RELATED STORIES: Will Astros relent on affiliated team in Sugar Land?; It's official: Montgomery County, Ventura Sports release details on new ballpark/retail complex; Ventura Sports, Montgomery County sign MOU for new ballpark; Sugar Land approves MOU with Opening Day Partners; Sugar Land, Opening Day Partners negotiating new-ballpark deal; Sugar Land seeks proposals for ballpark; The latest from Omaha: Stein to rethink Sarpy move; Wolff loves a 24,000-seat ballpark; Today's big ballot issue: new ballpark in Sugar Land

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