County officials concerned about costs of bringing Triple-A team to SA
Updating Wolff stadium could cost $30 million to $40 million
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Missions’ baseball owners announced Wednesday that their Double-A baseball team will move to Amarillo and their Triple-A team will move from Colorado Springs to San Antonio and will still be called the Missions. It’s a move up in baseball leagues for San Antonio, one step below the major leagues, but the cost and where the new Missions will play has some concerned.
The announcement in Amarillo that the Missions would be playing in the city's new stadium came as a surprise to some leaders in San Antonio. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff was only told about it Tuesday. He hopes the Triple-A Missions will be a Texas Rangers or Houston Astros affiliate.
"Any one of those two franchises putting a Triple-A team here, it would be a real, real big win for San Antonio," Wolff said.
But neither the county judge nor the city's newly elected mayor, Ron Nirenberg, know the details of the move yet. And it’s unclear if the stadium that bears Wolff’s name will be part of the Missions future.
"When we built the stadium where they are today, it was built for Double-A ball, but built in a way it could be sized up for Triple-A," Wolff said.
"My initial reaction is, ‘This is wonderful.’ Then my next reaction is that ‘OK, they're going to want either an updated stadium or a new stadium, and how much is that going to cost us, the taxpayers," Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff said.
Like father, like son. Kevin Wolff is wary of the details. Updating Wolff Stadium could cost $30 million to $40 million, but he said he’s “almost guaranteeing” the Triple-A Missions won't want to stay put.
"They're going to want to move closer to downtown and so probably the going rate for a new stadium is somewhere between $80 (million) and $85 million," Kevin Wolff said.
The diamond details and who will pay for them are still to be worked out, but Kevin Wolff knows what he doesn't want to have happen.
"Six months, a year from now, holding us and the community over a barrel, saying, ‘We told you we'd bring Triple-A. You’ve got to give us this in order to do it.’ That's the part I'm worried about," Kevin Wolff said.
Kevin Wolff said the taxpayers need to let elected officials know what they think and engage. He said he'd personally love a Triple-A team in San Antonio, but he's not going to sacrifice the taxpayers who elected him to get something he'd personally like to see.
The Elmore Sports Group, which owns the Missions, will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon. KSAT will be there to get the latest details.
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