The Tourists were previously affiliated with the Astros in 1967 and from 1982-93 and reportedly remain in the Sally League.
“The Astros are very excited about partnering with the Tourists franchise and setting up roots in the City of Asheville,” said Astros General Manager James Click. “Asheville is one of the most historic franchises in all of minor league baseball and we look forward to adding to that history.”
“We are thrilled to receive the invitation from the Houston Astros to partner with them as part of their organization,” said Tourists President and Owner Brian DeWine. “Baseball’s return to Asheville this Spring will give us a season we will never forget.”
The Astros have majority control of their three other affiliates, so their commitments were never in question.
The Astros announced their affiliation with Triple A Sugar Land in November and will commence play at Constellation Field for the 2021 season. Sugar Land joins the organization after spending the last 10 years in the Independent Atlantic League (2010-20), which included two league titles (2016, 2018). Their home, Constellation Field, which opened in 2012, is located approximately 22 miles from Minute Maid Park.
The Astros will be returning to Corpus Christi for their 16th consecutive season in 2021, dating back to the club’s move to the Texas League in 2005. The home of the Hooks, Whataburger field, which also opened in 2005, underwent a renovation in the 2019-20 offseason, which improved the stadiums netting, batting cages, weight room and clubhouse. Other upgrades were made to the suites, the stadium’s berm, irrigation, and the playing surface.
The Astros have operated the Class A Fayetteville franchise since the 2017 season, originally joining the Carolina League as an expansion team. The team operated as the Buies Creek Astros for two seasons (2017-18) before moving to their permanent home in Fayetteville, N.C., and rebranding as the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. The Woodpeckers play at Segra Stadium, which opened for the 2019 season.
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