With San Antonio FC’s inaugural season nearly in the books, there is no doubt the Alamo City is ready for Major League Soccer.
But is Major League Soccer ready for San Antonio?
San Antonio is on the list for MLS expansion, but that list also includes St. Louis, Sacramento, Detroit, San Diego and Austin. Recent reports had the MLS asking for a $200 million expansion fee, leaving those in the Alamo City wondering if SS&E would spend that much to bring a second pro team to San Antonio.
MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott says no decisions were made, but did seem to confirm the $200 million figure.
“There has been incredible interest from cities across the country in acquiring a Major League Soccer expansion club and we continue to have productive discussions with a number of prospective ownership groups,” Abbott said in a league statement. “Following the Board of Governors meeting, the league is continuing to work on the timetable and the details, including pricing, for future expansion and no decisions have been made. Based on the increasing value of MLS clubs, expansion fees could be as high as $200 million.”
Back in April, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber commented St. Louis and Sacramento were the likely next two cities to get an MLS team, followed by Detroit and San Diego. So it seems like San Antonio may be out of the loop….for now.
Remember, as part of the agreement with the city of San Antonio and SS&E, they must bring an MLS team to the Alamo City within six year. If that fails, the Spurs group must pay the city and county $3 million each.
While the MLS may not be ready for San Antonio, the city is ready for MLS.
A soccer specific stadium in Toyota Field has brought fans out in droves. A new stadium record was set in SAFC’s inaugural home match and the crowds have continued to show up every home match. The buzz at Toyota Field is electric no matter the score until the final whistle.
“This city deserves another pro team,” fan Cindy Moran said. “We have two top league teams in the Spurs and Stars (WNBA). But a real second team is needed and MLS would be that next step.”
That next step may still be some time away, but San Antonio will no doubt go out to support their club.
Just like they do with the San Antonio Rampage, Stars and Spurs
Because we are San Antonio. And we love our sports.
Hear that, Mr. Commissioner?