SAN ANTONIO – Major League Baseball is looking to enhance player experience in the minor league, but the decision comes at a price that could cost San Antonio its double-A team, the Missions.
The MLB raised the standard for its facility requirements. That means Wolff Stadium, home of the Missions, must have multiple batting cages, women’s locker rooms, larger clubhouses for both teams, office renovations, more storage, and increased seating by about 2,000 seats.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said it’s a tall order for the 1994-built ballpark. He’s worried the stadium doesn’t have enough room under the seats to expand and make the necessary upgrades.
Another option is to build a new stadium. If not, the Missions could be pulled from San Antonio.
KSAT spoke with some locals who say they aren’t OK with that.
“We don’t have a lot of major league teams for anything, so we might as well take a little bit of pride in that,” said Sam Dehm.
“I love going to Missions games, so I would be pretty upset by it. Just had a lot of really good memories that I’ve had out there. It’s a great family environment,” said Nolan Ellis.
Wolff said he estimates repairs to Wolff Stadium would cost between $5 million and $10 million. He thinks the better plan is to build a new ballpark.
“It would cost a lot more to build a new one. Estimates have varied anywhere between $75 million to $150 million,” Wolff said.
He said the county hopes hotel taxes would pay for 75% to 80% of the cost. The rest would be funded through a partnership with the city and county and other partners to build a new stadium.
Possible locations for a new ballpark include downtown near San Pedro Creek, the old Lone Star Brewery and by UTSA.
“The next step would be somebody would need to bring something to us, and the mayor needs to look at it. I need to take a look at it, but so far, they have not been able to do that,” Wolff said.