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Grand Prairie Air Hogs hope QuikTrip can fuel winning season

GRAND PRAIRIE -- The Grand Prairie Air Hogs hope a new sponsor will fuel a winning season.

On Tuesday, the minor league baseball team announced a 10-year agreement with Tulsa-based QuikTrip to name its new ballpark QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The team, which will play its first game in QuikTrip Park on May 16, is in the American Association of Professional Baseball, the same league as the Fort Worth Cats. Mark Schuster, managing partner of Ventura Sports, which owns the franchise, said he is excited about the QuikTrip deal.

"For us, the ability to drive traffic back to us through their 50 retail locations in the Metroplex was key," Schuster said.

Residents of Grand Prairie approved a one-eighth-cent tax last year to build a $20 million minor league park. The team's lease with Grand Prairie splits the franchise's profits with the city at the end of each season and that includes naming rights, Schuster said.

As part of the deal, QuikTrip will have a booth within the new ballpark.

"It will be an opportunity for us to interact with the fans and build our relationships with them and perhaps do some samplings and signups," said Chris Cadieux, QuikTrip marketing and promotions manager.

In a couple of years, the booth could be expanded into a full-blown concessions stand that would offer all of QuikTrip's products at the same prices found in the company's convenience stores.

QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie

-- Opens May 16

-- 5,445 seats

-- 6,000 square-foot sports bar and restaurant

-- A swimming pool overlooking right field

-- A kids zone with a rock climbing wall, miniature golf course and whiffle-ball field

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