San Antonio probably won't make cut for MLS team, sports marketing professor says

Austin City Council to vote on MLS plan next week

SAN ANTONIO – For the first time in months, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and officials with the San Antonio Missions met about what will come next for the 2019 baseball season when the team will become Triple-A.

Nirenberg met with the Major League Soccer commissioner in New York last week to let him know that San Antonio is still interested in a team.

David Bojanic, a sports marketing and tourism professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, believes the city could, once again, not make the cut -- this time, with Major League Soccer.

“If Austin does follow through, build a stadium, get the team from Columbus, it definitely hurts our capabilities, because now you’re only an hour away. And that’s not a very common thing -- to have two major league franchises, unless you’re in New York or (Los Angeles), to be able to sustain that,” Bojanic said.

The Austin City Council is expected to vote on the MLS plan next week. Meanwhile, the Missions baseball team will move up to Triple-A.

“I think, overall, it’s really insignificant. I think, whether you have a Double-A team or a Triple-A team, you’re still going to draw the same people,” Bojanic said. “When you look at it from a talent standpoint, the Double-A teams are probably more likely to have the next star on their team -- people who go up to the MLB and do well in Major League Baseball.”

Wolff Stadium, where the Missions currently play, seats 9,200 people. Minor League Baseball recommends Triple-A teams to have a capacity of 10,000 people.

There has been talk of a potential new baseball stadium.

“We have had a discussion with the mayor to keep him apprised of our situation as we transition to Triple-A in 2019 and we appreciate his enthusiasm for baseball in San Antonio,” said Burl Yarbrough, president of the San Antonio Missions, in a statement.

"San Antonio is a big league city and it is ascending. I join the many thousands of Missions fans, and all of San Antonio, in anticipation of the Missions' successful transition to AAA. The oldest sports franchise in our city - and one of the most storied clubs in minor league history - is beginning a new era. I know they are working on what that will mean long-term for their stadium, and I look forward to hearing more about their plans," Nirenberg said in a statement.

About the Author:

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.