Rio Grande Valley Busy With Professional Sports Events
The Harlingen WhiteWings is a minor league baseball team in the independent United League and Texas Winter League. WhiteWings began as a charter member of the Texas-Louisiana League in 1994, which became the Central Baseball League. The WhiteWings won the Texas-Louisiana League Championship in 2000, upsetting the San Angelo Colts and Amarillo Dillas to win the pennant under manager Eddie Dennis. After falling on hard times, the WhiteWings suspended operations in 2003. In late 2005, United League Baseball announced that the WhiteWings would resume play as the first charter member of the new league in 2006. The team plays at Harlingen Field, which seats 4,500.
Harlingen Field Quick Facts
Location: North O Street and Fair Park Boulevard, Harlingen, Texas
Opened: 1950 as Lon C. Hill Field (Renovated 2002)
The original stadium structure at Harlingen Field goes all the way back to 1950. That stadium still stands; new outbuildings, etc., were completed in 2002, during the stay of the independent Central League Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, who ceased operations after the 2003 season.
For two seasons, the park was used primarily for the two high schools in town, the Harlingen Cardinals and the Harlingen South Hawks. For 2006, a new operator brought back the WhiteWings as a member of the new independent United League.
While the facility is rather Spartan in nature, it fits the bill just fine for independent baseball. If the club operators would recognize that some fans are serious about following players and post a whiteboard for the starting lineups, it would be better. As it is, they do a better job than in Amarillo or Laredo.
Regional Professional Sports
The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are a professional hockey team based in Hidalgo, Texas, located about 35 miles west of Harlingen. They are a member of the Central Hockey League and have played their home games in the Dodge Arena since 2003.
The Rio Grande Valley Dorados are a professional arena football team. They are a 2002 expansion member of the AF2 league. The AF2 league is the minor league of the Arena Football League. They play their home games at Chase Field inside the Dodge Arena.
The Rio Grande Valley Silverados are a professional basketball team of the Continental Basketball Association. They are based in McAllen, Texas, located about 30 miles west of Harlingen. Their home games are played at the McAllen Convention Center.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are a professional basketball team of the NBA Developmental league. They play their home games at Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. The Vipers are affiliated with the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers. Former Spurs Guard and Hall of Famer George “Iceman” Gervin is the Head of Basketball Operations.