The city of San Antonio is hoping to one day become home to a Major League Soccer team, and on Wednesday a significant step was taken in that quest.
City and Bexar County officials announced they have reached a joint agreement to buy Toyota Field from current San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman, pending official approval next week by the city and county.
As part of the deal, Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E), which owns local NBA franchise San Antonio Spurs, will receive a 20-year lease to operate the stadium with the goal of landing an MLS expansion team.
"San Antonio is serious about its pursuit of Major League Soccer and this deal takes us a step closer to bringing it here,” San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor said in a statement. “Fans may have to wait a few more years, but soccer has an international appeal and is a perfect fit for our city’s global outlook and economic strategy."
Toyota Field, which opened in April 2013, currently has a capacity of 8,000, but the stadium can be expanded to hold over 18,000 fans. It is the home to the Scorpions, who play in the second-division NASL, where they won the 2014 title.
After the news broke, Major League Soccer released the following statement on Wednesday:
“San Antonio city and Bexar county officials announced today that they have reached an agreement to purchase Toyota Field and are interested in partnering with Spurs Sports & Entertainment to bring Major League Soccer to San Antonio in the future. We sincerely appreciate this strong demonstration of interest in MLS. As we announced in March, MLS has not yet determined the timing and process for expansion beyond 24 clubs, but look forward to learning more about this project once our future expansion plans are finalized.”