SBD/Issue 204/Franchises

Two Groups Looking To Bring A Pro Soccer Team To San Antonio

Heightend Interest From World Cup Reaffirms
SS&E's Efforts To Put Soccer Team In San Antonio

Spurs Sports & Entertainment VP/Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Leo Gomez said that the company is "interested in pursuing a professional soccer team" for San Antonio, according to W. Scott Bailey of the SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL. Gomez said that "heightened interest in the U.S. team's 2010 World Cup run has reaffirmed SS&E research indicating that there is growing support" for soccer in the city. Gomez said that SS&E's plan is to "re-create the model" that FC Dallas used to "secure a new stadium in North Texas." That would "require SS&E to team up with an area independent school district interested in developing or renovating a venue to accommodate professional soccer, high school football and various entertainment events." San Antonio Mayor Ed Garza, who "tried to bring an MLS team" to the city five years ago, said that there have been talks between SS&E and the San Antonio Independent District Board of Trustees about the "possibility of renovating the aging Alamo Stadium." Gomez said that he "believes San Antonio should start with a team in the USL." But he said that SS&E is "interested in a plan that would include a stadium suitable for the MLS."

GOAL ORIENTED: Bailey notes SS&E is "not the only entity interested in securing a pro soccer franchise" for San Antonio, as developer Gordon Hartman said that he also "hopes to bring a team" to the city. Hartman: "I'm working very aggressively to put together a plan to bring a professional soccer team to San Antonio. I want to build a venue that would accommodate a pro soccer team." He said that he has had "conversations with multiple teams about relocating to San Antonio" (SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/2 issue). In San Antonio, Richard Oliver notes Hartman, who opened his $9M STAR Soccer Complex in the city earlier this year, "hopes to build a multimillion-dollar stadium in coming months to serve as the centerpiece of the sprawling STAR project." Hartman said that he has "approached city and county officials about the idea and added 'the public sector' would have to be involved in financing in some way." Hartman and Playbook Management Int'l Managing Partner and former FC Dallas President & GM Michael Hitchcock are "targeting a franchise in either" the USL or NASL. Hitchcock said that a team "could compete in San Antonio by 2013" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/8).

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