The devil is always in the details, but the prospect of professional baseball downtown adds new excitement to a downtown lifestyle fit for sports enthusiasts. Last week, Mayor Ivy Taylor has announced the Elmore Sports Group, owner of the Double-A San Antonio Missions, has committed to bringing Triple-A baseball to a new stadium downtown by 2019. In broad strokes, the Missions would move to another market, and the Elmore Group’s Triple-A team in Colorado Springs would move here.
We don’t know how much a stadium would cost, how it would be paid for, where it might be located, or even if Minor League Baseball would approve such a change — all details that would need public vetting. But this field of dreams has some appeal for boosting downtown — as long as it is not at Hemisfair and its much-needed green space.
In addition to baseball, The city and Bexar County moved the ball forward late last year with the purchase of Toyota Field and a partnership with the Spurs Sports & Entertainment to manage a minor league soccer team, San Antonio FC, with the aspiration of moving up to Major League Soccer. The deal appears promising. As Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says “putting our major efforts on soccer because we believe that’s moving quicker.” Speed is crucial, but more important, it’s a major league opportunity with a sport bursting in popularity.
Taylor has also been incredibly supportive about attracting MLS to San Antonio. Clearly, it’s not an either/or proposition to her — baseball or soccer — and it’s not to us. But it’s worth noting the seasons for both sports overlap, and there are only so many fans willing to buy tickets. Local officials need to make sure a minor league opportunity, even if it is downtown, doesn’t undercut a legitimate major league opportunity when it comes to attendance, attention and public support for bond funding.
That said, the mix for a reinvigorated city core lies in enticing not just new businesses, but residents who want to live downtown and play there as well. A Triple-A ballpark with a good team could help on this second item. It could have charm, especially if there’s evidence this is a legitimate step toward enticing Major League Baseball here.
For sports fans, this is an exciting time filled with possibility. Go for the goal. Swing for the fences. Sports metaphors abound these days. But most important for local residents and officials, keep your eyes on the ball.
Edited from original article on MySanAntonio.com. Click here to read original article.