Mayor in Talks to Bring Baseball into Downtown San Antonio

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The Fox Tech baseball field. Photo by Scott Ball.

The Fox Tech baseball field. Photo by Scott Ball.

Triple-A baseball may soon plant roots in San Antonio, according to a statement from Mayor Ivy Taylor.

“I can confirm that I have been in detailed discussions for months with the San Antonio Missions. The (San Antonio) Missions are committed to being a partner in a downtown baseball project and are exploring every option available to bring a Triple-A baseball club to San Antonio.”

An announcement about those discussions will be made by Taylor and representatives from the San Antonio Missions, a Double-A team, sometime next week.

There have been feasibility studies done on several possible 8-acre ballpark locations around the city, including downtown, stated Leslie Garza, the mayor’s director of communications. But the Mayor’s office will not release an official list of options for the ballpark until “they’ve been narrowed down.”

This new venture would also mean luring a new Triple-A baseball team to the city, and the possible relocation or sale of the San Antonio Missions.

“However, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) will have to approve any teams moving into or out of our city,” Taylor stated.

The Missions currently call Wolff Stadium home, which is located west of downtown and is the oldest stadium in the Texas League.

“We should have been a Triple-A city a long time ago,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the stadium’s namesake who was coincidentally attending his grandson’s baseball game on Wednesday. “We built (Wolff Stadium) where it could be sized up to fit a Triple-A team, but it would be great to bring that downtown, too. We’ve been talking about it for more than a year now, not sure what the final outcome will be.”

 

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

 

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

*Top image: The Fox Tech baseball field.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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27 thoughts on “Mayor in Talks to Bring Baseball into Downtown San Antonio

  1. 8 acres downtown sounds like the further fleecing of Fox Tech. Downtown baseball would be awful. Dumbest idea ever. It’s already congested enough. Our baseball stadium right now is perfectly located. Easy to get to. No traffic. Easy parking. Try doing something new for a change. Invest in the Westside.

    • The city and county have already flubbed it on getting MLS. MLS has stated they want downtown stadiums. They have only been approving cities for the past 3-4 years that have or promise to build downtown stadiums. By buying Toyota Field and promoting it, we are now stuck with a non-downtown stadium and are of little interest to MLS. My guess is that Austin will get an MLS franchise and we will be left forever with minor-league soccer in the Northeast boonies because someone there in Austin is going to agree to build a downtown stadium.

      • I 100% agree with this. MLS has made it very clear that a downtown stadium is part of their brand. I don’t think that a stadium off of I-35 is appealing to them. Furthermore, why did the taxpayers have to foot the bill for SS&E to become the owners so that Gordon Hartman could exit the scene?
        MLS would bring in fans from all over – Austin, Corpus, the Valley, and it would be worth the investment to construct a new stadium downtown. All of these places have minor league baseball teams. San Antonio is not going to draw out-of-town fans for AAA baseball. MLB maybe, Triple A – highly doubtful. Wolff stadium should be expanded for the AAA team as it was designed. If the city/county wants to build a new stadium downtown, they should invest in a dual use stadium that would accommodate MLS and baseball, but it seems a little late for that since we have already purchased Hartman’s stadium.

  2. No. Why should the public be burdened with paying for a stadium that’s going to benefit a privately owned team? Even more ridiculous is the thought of siting such a disaster downtown. Triple no.

  3. Interesting. Wolff had an article a couple of days ago saying he wanted to bring MLB to SA. I’d rather have a major league team.

  4. San Antonio is one of the few cities left that can actually build downtown without it becoming ridiculously expensive. Do it now and do it quickly. Wolff stadium is no good and hasn’t been since they put it up. Though Northside does present a good option due to population, downtown seems to be the best choice for future growth and opportunity. Also, it allows an accessible location for all demographics and locations in the city. Its the right move to make it accessible for everyone- or at least most.

    Also, there is a much bigger picture many forget to notice when we talk about stadiums, light rail, theaters, etc. and that is the long term impact it will have to the sustainability and eventual economic growth of the city. Yes owners and developers may be private but the taxes generated become public and the money spent in town creates jobs and growth and, long-term should be a great benefit to anyone living in or around San Antonio. Of course, nothing is certain but don’t you want to place your investment where you have the most chance of success? I would think that most people with a bit of understanding in urban development and current demographic trends realize that the downtown area is the most likely chance of success. Anything that might be an anchor to the west of downtown would be even better.

    • My thoughts exactly, downtown is the best place to build places where the city can come together. We missed out with the AT&T Center, the dumbest thing we have done. But we can always patch mistakes moving forward.

  5. Take a look at what happen to downtown Tulsa after they built a ballpark. Downtown development took off and has not stopped. Send our city leaders up to take a look and especially visit with Tulsa officials on how it was financed. We can and should do it!!!!

  6. It’s obvious that the people who are cheering for a stadium downtown, don’t live downtown and maybe aren’t even aware of the fact that downtown is booming.
    Several thousand new apartments and condos have been built and occupied in the last 5 years and several thousand more are slated to be coming available in the next 2-3 years. There are new housing developments as well as adaptive re-use of existing buildings. Frost Bank will be building a new tower; the convention center is ready to open, Rivercenter mall has been expanded and renovated, Alamo Plaza will be turened into a true historic site rather than continue to be a carnival.

    The UNESCO World Heritage designation is bringing hundreds of more tourists to San Antonio. We need to emphasize and protect the history that draws tourists and that makes SA unique,

    Adding a stadium to this area is a very poor idea.
    Downtown has new businesses, new restaurants, more than 5000 new residents, there will soon be a hotel management school on the near eastside, Pearl will be extending to the opposite side of the river, the new transportation hubs are spurring development around their perimeter and more.

    A stadium would be expensive for taxpayers and would create a pigpen of trash and pollution and make the downtown area less pleasant for residents and tourists alike.

  7. My family has lived or been a part of downtown area for over 100 years now. You are right, development is wonderful compared to what the city was even 5 years ago but it needs a lot more to keep it going. It can stall out and if you look carefully you will notice that some projects are in a “holding” pattern. What we have done is great but until many of these great projects break ground they can very easily be tabled for all sorts of reasons. What we have done so far is a good start. It isn’t enough. If we as a city can invest in “anchors” meaning transportation, ballparks, retail districts and other types of infrastructure, in 10 years San Antonio should continue to be a wonderful place.

    • As far as anchor – I agree that we do need more retail, better transportation system (rail system for example) and more housing.
      A ballpark is empty most of the time. It adds nothing to the vitality of a neighborhood or a city center. It’s a terrible idea.

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