San Antonio council pledges to expand soccer stadium for MLS, spend some goldurn amount of money on it

If MLS pre-announcing that they only had one expansion team left was supposed to work up a frenzy of cities bidding to land that slot, man, is it ever working. The latest is San Antonio, where the minor-league Scorpions appear to have convinced the city council to kick in toward expanding their stadium from 9,000 to 19,000 seats in order to be MLS-ready. From the Scorpions’ press release:

The cost to expand Toyota Field is estimated at $38-45 million.  Designed by Pro Sports Developments (PSD) of San Antonio, the expansion envisions the addition of 10,000 seats to the existing 8,000, with 9,000 of the new seats on a new upper tier that would create a bowl-like configuration around the playing field…

Eighteen suites accommodating up to 24 fans apiece would be added to the east side of the stadium, bringing the total number of Toyota Field suites to 32.  Plans also call for three new clubs – the East Club with 130 balcony seats on the east suite level, the West Club with 40 observation-terrace seats on the existing west suite level and a Members Club at the southeast corner of the stadium.  Club patrons and suite holders would be allowed to use a new entrance directly across from existing reserved parking.

Other proposed enhancements include concessions, restrooms and merchandise outlets on each stadium level to efficiently meet the level of fan demand at halftime; field lighting for Division 1 network broadcasting; and a team store accessible from inside and outside the stadium.

All that for $45 million seems … ambitious, let’s call it? If they can pull it off, it’s not a huge expense as these things go. But it looks like the Scorpions owners would still be asking San Antonio taxpayers to chip in an unknown amount: Five city councilmembers have pledged to pass a resolution saying they’ll “assist” in luring an MLS team, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Also unclear is whether the expansion plans would only be approved contingent on San Antonio actually getting an MLS team, which you sure hope would be the case, but you never know. In the meantime: pretty pictures!

10 comments on “San Antonio council pledges to expand soccer stadium for MLS, spend some goldurn amount of money on it

  1. Looks like things are moving forward in Oakland:

    How a mayor can unilaterally make a decision like that confuses me. Doesn’t the Council have a say?

    Where would the $120 million come from? “That’s a great question that we will probably not say anything about,” Quan spokesman Sean Maher told us Tuesday.

  2. The mayor can’t without council approval. (And Coliseum Authority approval.) This is just a proposal. See item I just posted.

  3. MikeM

    Pie in the sky for Quan. She’s just trying to get the jump on the November election. Problem is, her constituents don’t like this idea so it’s counter productive for her. That being said, I’m confused as to why San Antonio would be talking about public money for a soccer stadium when the NFL is becoming a more legitimate chance by the day thanks to the shenanigans in Oakland.

  4. Not to get all existential, but if this occured Texas would have:
    3 NBA teams
    3 MLS teams
    2 Baseball teams
    2 NFL teams
    NHL team
    A dozen 1A college football/basketball programs

    When do things break with pro sports?

  5. Doesn’t Texas have the right to split itself into five independent sports leagues at any time it wants?

  6. Hey , isn’t this team a non profit set up to subsidize an adjacent amusement park for children with disabilities ? Can’t see anyone being against it if true.

  7. Stadium vapourtechture not withstanding, SA did actually design their stadium in a sort of modular fashion. When the owner applied for a (then USL, I believe) franchise he was very clear on where he wanted to go and what phases the stadium would be developed in… and that was before the team had even played a game as I recall.

    Whether or not they can accomplish what they want for $45m is beyond me, but they at least have been building a business for several years and actually seem to have a plan. This puts them well ahead of Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Albuquerque etc.

  8. Here is a link to an interview with the owner of the Scorpions

  9. NFL isn’t going to SA. anytime this decade. A council person will basically be voting to spend 45mil on a local business that benefits children with disabilities or spend 1.45 billion to lure a business that causes physical and mental disabilities in children.