SBD/September 3, 2014/Facilities

San Antonio NASL Club Proposes $45M Stadium Expansion Ahead Of MLS Push

Toyota Field's capacity would be more than the 18,000 required for an MLS team
NASL San Antonio Scorpions Owner Gordon Hartman's Soccer for a Cause "has unveiled plans" for a proposed $45M expansion of Toyota Field, according to W. Scott Bailey of the SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL. Plans "call for dramatic changes to the roughly 8,000-seat stadium that, once completed, would make it one of the nation’s premier soccer and special-events venues." Proposed changes include the addition of 10,000 seats -- 9,000 of which "would be constructed in a new second level that would create a bowl-like configuration around the playing field." Plans also call for a canopy that "would cover the second level, providing shade and amplifying crowd noise." The stadium also would feature 18 new suites, which "would each accommodate up to 24 fans." The proposed expansion "would take Toyota Field’s seating capacity north of the 18,000-mark needed to accommodate" an MLS franchise (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/2). In San Antonio, Dan McCarney reports the expansion also would include three additional club areas and a "high-powered beacon to be lit during matches that can be seen for miles." The beacon's light "would turn from white to red after Scorpions goals and victories." The new façade, "combined with the existing west stand, would give the stadium an intimate enclosure similar to the European venues." Viewed from above, the roofed portion "curls around the playing field to resemble a scorpion's tail." While city aid "will almost certainly center around the stadium expansion, the bulk, if not all," of the estimated $70M MLS expansion fee "will come down to a handful of investor groups Hartman said are looking to buy into his club, with a fourth recently entering the picture." Hartman "has signed confidentiality agreements with all four groups." Sources said that Spurs Sports & Entertainment is "among the groups interested in purchasing at least a controlling interest in the Scorpions" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/3).
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