Expanding hope for an MLS team

Scorpions unveil proposed Toyota Field additions


SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman unveiled the proposed expansion of the North American Soccer League's Alamo City home, Toyota Field. 

The expansion would add 10,000 seats -- 9,000 of which would be covered. There would be an additional 18 suites, more clubs and 130 balcony seats.

The process of expansion has already been made easier since the stadium was constructed with expansion in mind, so the infrastructure is already in place.

"What we want to do is make sure we have one of the state-of-the-art stadiums in the country," said Hartman.

The unveiling is all part of the game plan to bring an Major League Soccer franchise to the Alamo City. MLS is the highest level of professional soccer in the country.

There also has to be other elements in the mix. There needs to be investors -- the expansion costs range from $38 million-$45 million, while the cost of a franchise alone is $70 million. 

Hartman said he is working on getting groups involved who can see the same vision as he can.

"(We're) working with numerous, strong investment groups, not only here in the United States, but actually outside the United States," Hartman said.

One more part of the process is getting the city on board. Last week, Councilman Mark Gallagher expressed his support for MLS soccer and he now has four other members of council who have signed a Council Consideration Request.

One of those councilmen is Ray Lopez.

"There are some pieces the city could potentially, through incentive or direct investment, be willing to participate in, but none of that's been really defined," Lopez said. "We are just trying to figure out (if this) is the right path to take. We believe that it is. Now we just need to go verify that."

Lopez also said there will need to a lot of data gathered before a decision on the amount of involvement could be made.

"This has to be something where everybody wins," Hartman said.

After watching the increase in soccer popularity in San Antonio, Hartman said he thinks this is the right time to get all the elements together.

"Those opportunities are there, they are serious, they are real and it is time for us as a city to seize that, in my opinion," Hartman said.

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