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San Antonio mayor says MLS expansion team remains city's focus

San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg reiterated his support for the city's push for a Major League Soccer team last week, stating that the expansion bid headed by Spurs Sports & Entertainment – which owns USL side San Antonio FC – remains a focus for his government. 

"San Antonio is a major league city. We should be proud of that," Nirenberg said to KSAT.

A total of 12 groups submitted bids ahead of the January 31 deadline in the latest round of MLS expansion, with the league set to add four teams from that group of applicants to bring the total number of teams in the league to 28.

MLS is slated to announce the first two winning bids by the end of 2017, though another San Antonio-area government official believes the city's bid has a better chance of landing one of the remaining two spots, to be announced at a later date.

"We kind of think we have a better shot at the third and fourth pick, and we don't know when that would be — possibly sometime next year," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.

San Antonio is slated to receive a AAA baseball franchise, starting in 2019, but Wolff insisted that the city and county have kept MLS expansion as their "primary objective."

Wolff also noted that an expansion to the 8,400-capacity Toyota Field, where SAFC currently play and which would be expanded by 10,000 should San Antonio's bid succeed, would involve some degree of public funding.

"As owners of the stadium, we would work out some arrangement with the Spurs to expand that, where we would share that between the city, the county and the Spurs at some ratio. I'm not sure what yet," Wolff said.

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