Bexar commissioners approve lease of Toyota Field to Spurs

Agreement made to pursue MLS franchise

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County commissioners approved the lease of Toyota Field to Spurs Sports and Entertainment during a special meeting Monday morning.

The vote comes on the heels of the San Antonio City Council's approval of the joint purchase of the stadium by the city and the county.

Spurs Sports and Entertainment will lease Toyoya Field for 20 years, while operating a minor league soccer team with the goal of making the jump to MLS.

The city and the county will contribute $9 million each toward the purchase of the stadium from Gordon Hartman. Spurs Sports and Entertainment will add another $3 million.

All the documentation is expected to be signed and completed on Monday, but that is just the beginning.

"We have 10 specific provisions that the Spurs will have to follow to get to a Major League Soccer franchise. And then we have to be positioned to be able to call an election," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.

The election will allow voters to decide whether Toyota Field is to be expanded in order to accommodate an MLS team and the fans that will hopefully come with it.

The election would not be held likely until after 2017 and only if Spurs Sports and Entertainment brings an MLS team to San Antonio.

MLS has announced that it wants to expand the league. San Antonio is on the list of possible expansion cities, but it is not the only one.

"(We'll be) competing against other cities, so it's important that we be ready for it. If we're not ready for it, you're not going to see Major League Soccer here for a decade or two," Wolff said.

The stadium has been home to the Scorpions of the North American Soccer League. The team the Spurs want to bring to San Antonio will be part of the United Soccer League, which is said to create a clearer path to MLS.

If the minor league franchise does not make it to the MLS in the first six years of the lease, Spurs Sports and Entertainment will pay the city and the county $2.5 million each.

About the Authors:

Myra Arthur is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories. She graduated high school in the Alamo City and always wanted to anchor and report in her hometown. Myra anchors KSAT News at 6:00 p.m. and hosts and reports for the streaming show, KSAT Explains. She joined KSAT in 2012 after anchoring and reporting in Waco and Corpus Christi.