SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) --
Sugar Land has chosen a name for its new minor league baseball team.
The Skeeters beat out two other proposed names that were picked after residents took part in an online contest. The other finalists were the King Canes and the Lizard Kings.
According to the team, the public vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the Sugar Land Skeeters. Team President Matt O'Brien and dozens of excited kids made the announcement around 10am Wednesday in Sugar Land.
"We are tenacious, we are synonymous with summer, we are a new species of fun - we are the Sugar Land Skeeters!" O'Brien announced as a curtain was pulled back to reveal the team name.
And with that, Sugar Land ushered in a new era, welcoming the Houston area's first minor league team in a long time - the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Around 8,000 name suggestions came in initially and those were whittled down to three. More than 16,000 votes later, the public had spoken - choosing as its mascot a mosquito with a baseball in its stinger.
"We think the name is fun, it has lots of possibilities, it's a name that can represent the region," O'Brien said. "The history of the name is everything from today going forward. When you say Skeeters, we want you to think affordable family fun and minor league baseball."
Former baseball player Grover "Deacon" Jones was on hand to announce the name, which was the brain child of Tony and Jeana Johnson. They submitted the name and are now season ticketholders for life.
"When you think about minor league team, they're whimsical, they're colorful; it's something the kids can enjoy and that's just what we thought about," said Tony Johnson.
"And it looks like a fighting mosquito," said Jeana Johnson.
"It was the name that I heard a lot of buzz about in the community as well and it's nice that the numbers worked out that way," said O'Brien.
The bug is a big hit with kids who helped unveil the mascot.
When we asked some Fort Bend ISD students what they thought about the name,and Fahad Nabi replied, "Sting 'em hard!"
"It's a cool name," said Brian Holton.
Abigail Liu said, "I think it's a very unique name."
The team is building a new stadium which is set to open in April 2012. The 7,500-square foot facility will double as a concert venue. At $8 a seat, the team says it wants to make baseball more accessible to families.
"We never had a baseball team before," said Sarah Ali.
And the Skeeters are even offering free admission to kids who show up in their little league uniforms.
The team says it is not affiliated with a specific major league franchise giving players and teams flexibility; tomorrow's Astros or Rangers players could come out of their clubhouse.
For more information, visit the team's website www.sugarlandskeeters.com
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, katie mccall