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Deal reached for Toyota Field with hopes of bringing MLS franchise to San Antonio

Toyota Field San Antonio Scorpions 12

San Antonio might not be in the immediate plans when it comes to MLS expansion, but that is not stopping the city from preparing for a move to the league anyway.

The city of San Antonio, Bexar County and Spurs, Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) have reached an agreement to buy Toyota Field, home of NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions, for a total of $21 million. Each of the two public entities will pay $9 million while SS&E will provide an additional $3 million to Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman, but government officials still have to give the deal the green light next week.

Part of the reason for the move to a soccer-specific stadium, which currently seats 8,296 fans but can be expanded to 18,500, is to help land an MLS franchise in the future. SS&E, which also owns the NBA’s Spurs, will lease Toyota Field for 20 years and has half that time to win a spot in MLS.

“The Spurs will have to pay a penalty if they don’t get there,” Bexar county judge Nelson Wolff told the San Antonio Business Journal.

MLS currently has plans to expand to 24 teams by the end of the decade, but Atlanta, a second team in Los Angeles, Minnesota and Miami figure to occupy the four remaining slots. The league has not yet determined exactly when it will push past that number, but commissioner Don Garber said back in April that MLS will continue to grow.

What do you think about this development? See San Antonio landing an MLS franchise some time in the future? How soon do you think the Scorpions could join the league? At what number will MLS stop expanding?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. San Antonio has the demographics for an MLS franchise especially with the blessing of the NBA Spurs. Instant rivalries with Dallas & Houston will be a plus.

    MLS is looking at metro areas with approximately 2 million like Phoenix, St. Louis, Charlotte & Sacramento on the radar.

    USL Oklahoma City Energy FC ownership keeps prompting that they plan to eventually make a bid for MLS; that keeps some Energy FC fans energized. OKC needs another half million before MLS will take a look. The NBA OKC Thunder are not pushing for MLS in OKC; they have the whole market to themselves as the Thunder has some 215 consecutive sellouts dating back to 2010.

    OKC will have both ULS & NASL franchises in competition come 2016. Either way, if San Antonio decides to get an interim USL franchise, and/or continue with the NASL, OKC fans are excited about the possibility of a brief SA rivalry.

  2. San Antonio already has a stable NASL team ready to move up with a great stadium plan, etc…. Miami still can’t even get that far, but Garber is wanting to kiss up to Beckham….And Miami fans are very fickle when it comes to attendance….An MLS team in San Antonio would be great, as it would add to the cross-state rivalry with Houston and Dallas…

  3. I’ve been to Scorpions matches here. It’s a good environment with beer garden and all. They even have little soccer balls in the urinals.

  4. So the NASL is losing another franchise (and a soccer specific stadium)….tough way to build a business for Peterson. Guess his owners don’t like what they see in their future and are quick to jump to the MLS. The NASL needs to get a first division status to keep its marquee franchises.

  5. Remember back in 2000/2001 San Antonio was the favorite to get a new franchise, but the biggest issue all along was lack of a legitimate ownership group. Seems like with SS&E they have found that missing link. I say they’re a lock. Maybe even joining before Miami.

  6. how close is this to th city center? One the reasons FC Dallas and Houston didn’t get it right was building away from the city. San Antonio might be another Orlando.

    • The location is perfect at the inner loop 410 and I-35 junction. An outsider would think downtown would be better and they would be wrong. Downtown SA is a nightmare for parking and a venue. This gives easy access to all SA, New Braunfels and San Marcos.

    • This is not downtown, but H-town is right in that the location allows for fans from San Antonio all the way up the I-35 corridor to Austin easy access. The Alamodome, in contrast, is downtown and it is a nightmare to get in and out of, so I am not sure a downtown venue with River Walk access would actually work. What concerns me though is that this will end up just like Frisco and even though it is in a location with easy access, still will not be highly attended.


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