Premier College Baseball Returns to Minute Maid Park Next Weekend

The 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic begins on Friday, Feb. 26

HOUSTON, TX - The 16th annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic returns to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros next weekend, from Feb. 26-28 with premier programs and regional matchups highlighting the three-day, six-team, nine-game tournament. Houston will be well represented, as the University of Houston and Rice University will both partake in the weekend's games.

The invite only tournament once again boasts a strong lineup, featuring five teams that are ranked in the top 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic will include TCU (#11), UL Lafayette (#13), Houston (#18), Arkansas (#22), Rice (#24) and Texas Tech. All six programs begin play tonight, which is the official opening day of Division I College Baseball.

This year's field is comparable to that of an NCAA Regional, in fact Houston, Rice and UL-Lafayette all played in the same Regional tournament last year, with UL-Lafayette advancing to the Super Regionals. Additionally, TCU and Arkansas both advanced to the College World Series in 2015.

Historically, the College Classic has hosted the No. 1 team in preseason polls six times in tournament history and has hosted two eventual College World Series Champions. Several current Major League players have played in the Classic, including David Price, Michael Bourn, Gerrit Cole, Mike Leake and Anthony Rendon, to name a few.

Select youth, student and adult daily tickets and three-day tournament passes are now available for purchase online at www.Astros.com/CollegeClassic. Tickets can also be purchased at the Minute Maid Park Box Office (during regular business hours) or by calling the Astros ticket office at 1-877-9ASTROS.

Adult tickets purchased in advance are available for a $18 daily admission, as well as a $39 three-day tournament pass. Tickets for high school and college students, with a valid student ID, and children (ages 4-14) are available now for $10 daily and $24 for a tournament pass. 

Astros full season ticket holders are offered a $12 daily ticket and a $30 tournament pass. To purchase general admission group tickets for groups of 20 or more, please call 713-259-4300. Luxury suites and Diamond Club tickets are available for purchase by calling 713-259-8350. Select parking in the Astros controlled lots will be sold for $20 (Diamond Lot) and $10 (Lot B).

This year marks the first time that the tournament carries the name the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, which follows a multi-year naming rights agreement between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The Astros Foundation will continue to operate the tournament and will donate $1 from the sale of each ticket directly to Shriners Hospitals as well as provide other fundraising and awareness opportunities. 

The tournament will also be televised regionally on ROOT Sports Southwest and on Cox Sports and nationally by MLB Network.

For a full schedule and for more information about the tournament, please visit Astros.com/CollegeClassic.

About the Houston Astros Foundation
The Astros Foundation (TAF) is the official 501(c)(3) team charity of the Houston Astros. TAF seeks to harness the passion of baseball fans to support youth baseball and softball programs serving at risk children and teens. Our cornerstone initiatives include the Community Leaders program, the Astros Urban Youth Academy and the Astros RBI Program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Learn more at ShrinersHospitalsforChildren.org. 

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