Spectator Sports in Austin
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The Round Rock Express. Next to UT football, Austin's most popular spectator sport may be the Round Rock Express baseball team, a AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros. The Express (owned by a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan) began in 2000 as a AA team, and moved up to AAA in 2005. It plays 72 home games from April through September at the Dell Diamond, an extremely pleasant place to pass a few hours, no matter who's winning. The open-air stadium seats about 8,600 with room for more in an outfield grass berm area. No ticket costs more than $12 (as of 2008), and it's hard to find a bad seat in this very fan-friendly (and family-friendly) ballpark. 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX. 512/255–2255. www.roundrockexpress.com.
The Austin Toros. Formerly the Columbus (Georgia) Riverdragons, the Toros, a team in the NBA's Development League, or "D-League," was rebranded when it moved to Austin in 2005. Affiliated with (and owned by) the San Antonio Spurs, the Toros play home games November through April at the Austin Convention Center. 7800 Shoal Creek Blvd., Ste. 115W, Downtown & the Capitol Area, Austin, TX. 512/236–8333. www.nba.com/dleague/austin.
The Austin Wranglers. This arena football expansion team began play in 2004, and moved down from the AFL to af2 (the Arena Football League's developmental league) beginning in the 2008 season. The team plays from April to July. Home games are at UT's Frank Erwin Center. 1701 Red River St., University of Texas, Austin, TX, 78701. 512/339-3939. www.austinwranglers.com.
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