Astros baseball is officially coming to North Carolina.
The club on Tuesday signed a 30-year lease agreement with the city of Fayetteville, N.C., where its Class A Advanced affiliate will compete starting in 2019.
The agreement represents the final step what will be a three-year, cross-country move for the Astros’ Class A Advanced affiliate, which is currently based in Lancaster, Calif.
The club will move to Buies Creek, N.C., this summer to compete in the Carolina League for two seasons before making a more permanent move to Fayetteville. The team will be rebranded by the time it opens the 2019 season in a new stadium in downtown Fayetteville.
“The Astros are excited to be affiliated with the City of Fayetteville. It’s a city with rich history, friendly people and a background in baseball,” Astros president Reid Ryan said. “This agreement will be part of a dynamic revitalization of downtown Fayetteville, which will bring great crowds and a Major League environment for our players to develop. Player development is a huge part of the Astros’ success and Fayetteville will be a home for the club’s top prospects as they make their way to the Major Leagues.”
This agreement will bring affiliated Minor League baseball back to Fayetteville for the first time since 1998, when the Detroit Tigers were affiliated with the Fayetteville Generals of the Class A South Atlantic League.
Fayetteville will be the sixth city to host an Astros Class A Advanced affiliate, joining Buies Creek, Lancaster, Salem, Va., and Kissimmee and Osceola, Fla.