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-   -   Spurs Consider Managing Alamo Stadium - Big Urban/MLS Implications (http://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=179556)

sakyle04 Mar 13, 2010 2:22 PM

Spurs Consider Managing Alamo Stadium - Big Urban/MLS Implications
 
So an Express-News story came out recently that the San Antonio Spurs parent group (SS&E) had been in discussions to take over and manage Alamo Stadium, the historic 23,000 seat stadium near downtown (for the obvious intention of bringing a Major League Soccer team).

SAISD would continue to use the stadium under the agreement.

This has potentially big implications...

1. The addition of 20-30 major attendence dates (between soccer and concerts) to the Alamo Stadium calendar would continue to enliven the area.

2. The strategic renovation and reclamation of the urban stadium will undergird the River North/inner-city revitilization efforts and show the urban core to be stronger than ever.

3. The close proximity of Alamo Stadium to improved transportation systems (3/4 mile from Witte Station on Streetcar line) may help provide a boost to those systems.

4. Major League Soccer has proven to be an urban success story in America, with huge successes in Seattle, Toronto, DC and (soon) Portland, Vancouver, Philadelphia and New York (who are all opening urban or semi-urban rail-accessible stadia).

There is a group of soccer "supporters" already assembled in San Antonio (I dabble) and they are working towards building support for a team that would, for the benefits of this forum, hopefully do as much for those who love urbanity as it would for those who love soccer. Check 'em out: http://www.crocketteers.com/

oldmanshirt Mar 13, 2010 5:20 PM

Wasn't it Hardberger who chased MLS away in the first place?

I've always thought a bridge going over 281 that linked Alamo Stadium and Brackenridge would be pretty flippin sweet. You wouldn't have to go that far since the ped walkways already overlap the freeway anyway.

miaht82 Mar 13, 2010 5:38 PM

Good stuff,
Not sure how I missed that article.
I am not a soccer "fan" but its funny that I say that since I have been to more MLS matches and even MLB games than NBA or NFL combined; two sports which I would consider myself a "fan" of.
It's the atmosphere that makes it great for me. I can't watch it on TV, but being at a game is just so different.
Even at RFK Stadium (DC) it was close to 1/2 mile from Metro door to Stadium turnstile, so 3/4 of a mile from Witte to Alamo Stadium is definitely walkable.
The renovation/expanded use of the stadium would solidify that northern end of the core and add another item on the "things to do" list.
Now we just have to wait and see. Keep the news coming

Alice93 Mar 13, 2010 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miaht82 (Post 4744545)
Good stuff,
Not sure how I missed that article.
I am not a soccer "fan" but its funny that I say that since I have been to more MLS matches and even MLB games than NBA or NFL combined; two sports which I would consider myself a "fan" of.
It's the atmosphere that makes it great for me. I can't watch it on TV, but being at a game is just so different.
Even at RFK Stadium (DC) it was close to 1/2 mile from Metro door to Stadium turnstile, so 3/4 of a mile from Witte to Alamo Stadium is definitely walkable.
The renovation/expanded use of the stadium would solidify that northern end of the core and add another item on the "things to do" list.
Now we just have to wait and see. Keep the news coming

Same here. Never that big a fan of soccer, but it is extremely worth watching in person than on television. Good to hear the city pushing for it.

sakyle04 Jul 2, 2010 5:43 PM

Front page of this week SA Biz Journal!!!

SPURS PARENT EYEING PRO SOCCER IN SAN ANTONIO
Plans call for developing new stadium complex (renovation of existing school district facility mentioned)

Any subscribers able to reveal bulk of article?

http://sanantonio.bizjournals.com/sa...05/story1.html

oldmanshirt Jul 2, 2010 8:01 PM

If they're using Frisco as a model that would seem to imply new construction rather than using Alamo stadium...

But having access to the rest of the article would be helpful :)

miaht82 Jul 2, 2010 8:26 PM

Here it is...

http://sanantonio.bizjournals.com/sa...05/story1.html

Quote:

Friday, July 2, 2010
Spurs’ parent eying pro soccer for San Antonio
Plan calls for developing a new stadium complex
San Antonio Business Journal - by W. Scott Bailey

Spurs Sports & Entertainment’s Leo Gomez says the parent company of San Antonio’s NBA franchise is interested in pursuing a professional soccer team for the Alamo City.

Gomez says heightened interest in the U.S. team’s 2010 World Cup run has reaffirmed SS&E research indicating that there is growing support for the sport of soccer in the nation’s seventh largest city.

If SS&E is successful in its effort to secure a soccer franchise, it would expand the organization’s San Antonio sports reach beyond AT&T Center. It would also represent a belated victory of sorts for former San Antonio Mayor Ed Garza, who tried to convince local leaders a half-decade ago that the Alamo City should pursue soccer.

Gomez says SS&E’s plan is to re-create the model Dallas’ Major League Soccer franchise used to secure a new stadium in North Texas — called Pizza Hut Park. That would require SS&E to team up with an area independent school district interested in developing or renovating a venue to accommodate professional soccer, high school football and various entertainment events.

Dallas-based Hunt Sports Group, the Frisco Independent School District, the City of Frisco and Collin County agreed several years ago to team up on the development of Pizza Hut Park, a $65 million soccer-specific stadium complex that is now home to the Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas franchise. In September, the stadium is scheduled to host the rock band KISS.

Gomez says the Frisco model is one SS&E believes will work in San Antonio.

“Multiple school districts have expressed an interest,” he says. “We just haven’t found the right opportunity and the right timing yet to make it happen. But we ... believe the opportunity will come here in the near future to co-develop a stadium with a school district.”

Huge benefit

Garza tried to bring an MLS team to the Alamo City roughly five years ago. He is now a member of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) Board of Trustees.

Garza says there have been some talks between SS&E and the SAISD about the possibility of renovating the aging Alamo Stadium, located off of U.S. Highway 281 in North Central San Antonio. The plan would be to convert the structure into a multi-use facility that could serve as a home for a pro soccer team, high school sports and assorted other events.

“They have expressed their interest in being a partner with us in enhancing that venue,” Garza says.

“We know we have to make an investment in Alamo Stadium with or without the Spurs,” he adds. “If we can do that with a partner and then can have a facility that can accommodate professional soccer and other events, that could be a huge benefit for everyone involved.”

Gil Garza, executive director of athletics for the SAISD, says there have been discussions about making significant improvements at Alamo Stadium as part of a plan to accommodate a pro soccer team. Under that scenario, he says, SS&E would manage the facility.

Could pro soccer work at the venerable stadium?

“I think it can with the right improvements,” Gil Garza says. But he says it’s unclear how much those improvements would cost the school district.

Gomez did not divulge how much SS&E is willing to invest to develop a home for a pro soccer team. But he does say that Alamo Stadium is worthy of consideration.

“There may be an opportunity,” he says. But that district’s leaders have other important things to consider first, and we understand that.”

Serious discussions

The Spurs are not the only entity interested in securing a pro soccer franchise. Former home builder and developer Gordon Hartman says he, too, hopes to bring a team to San Antonio.

Hartman helped develop Morgan’s Wonderland, a theme park for special needs children, and the STAR Soccer complex — both located at the site of the former Longhorn Quarry on San Antonio’s Northeast Side.

“I’m working very aggressively to put together a plan to bring a professional soccer team to San Antonio,” Hartman explains. “I want to build a venue that would accommodate a pro soccer team.”

Hartman says he has had conversations with multiple teams about relocating to San Antonio.

“We’ve had serious discussions,” he says.

Hartman’s focus is the United Soccer Leagues (USL), which currently has teams in markets such as Austin, Portland and Tampa Bay.

Gomez says he believes San Antonio should start with a team in the USL.

But he says SS&E is interested in a plan that would include a stadium suitable for the MLS.

Scott Metzger, founder of Freetail Brewing Co., has been to MLS matches in Houston and to the MLS Cup in Seattle. His San Antonio brew pub has hosted several World Cup viewing parties that attracted overflow crowds.

“I do believe there is support for a pro team,” say Metzger about the prospect of San Antonio getting its own franchise. “But I believe it has to be done on the top professional level.”

SAISD’s Ed Garza says he isn’t sure how this will play out. But he says San Antonio has come a long way since he left City Hall.

“We can now sustain and support professional soccer in San Antonio,” he says. “We have grown by leaps and bounds over the last five years.”

Gomez says the excitement generated over the World Cup in San Antonio helped “put a face” with the research SS&E has performed with regard to the viability of bringing a soccer team to San Antonio.

“We absolutely believe that professional soccer is the next sport to bring to San Antonio,” Gomez insists. “But it has to be at the right level and at the right venue. We want to do it. But we want to do it the right way.”

SS&E officials say what they can offer a potential venue partner is the expertise from operating multiple professional sports franchises and a major league sports venue — AT&T Center.

“We are a willing, potential partner in the development of a stadium with a school district,” Gomez says. “Frisco has showed how this can work ... .”

Read more: Spurs’ parent eying pro soccer for San Antonio - San Antonio Business Journal

jaga185 Jul 3, 2010 1:15 AM

I would love a MLS team here, FIFA surely has sparked my interest in soccer. Alamo Stadium is a perfect choice, although I think if need be something adjacent to RiverNorth would be amazing... weren't they closing a school downtown or something?

Keep-SA-Lame Jul 3, 2010 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaga185 (Post 4899011)
I would love a MLS team here, FIFA surely has sparked my interest in soccer. Alamo Stadium is a perfect choice, although I think if need be something adjacent to RiverNorth would be amazing... weren't they closing a school downtown or something?

Fox Tech is a magnet school now, so it's not available for conversion into a MLS stadium.

miaht82 Jul 3, 2010 3:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaga185 (Post 4899011)
I would love a MLS team here, FIFA surely has sparked my interest in soccer. Alamo Stadium is a perfect choice, although I think if need be something adjacent to RiverNorth would be amazing... weren't they closing a school downtown or something?

Alamo Stadium would be perfect; perfect chance to fix it up before it falls apart. If not, I could see a land swap with the city and SAISD for the land on the corner of Alamo/Durango and the district to get to "use" a new stadium next to the Alamodome. Hey, it'd be on a streetcar line and there's plenty of parking.

Boquillas Jul 3, 2010 5:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldmanshirt (Post 4744531)

I've always thought a bridge going over 281 that linked Alamo Stadium and Brackenridge would be pretty flippin sweet. You wouldn't have to go that far since the ped walkways already overlap the freeway anyway.

There already is a bridge exactly where you're describing, between Alamo Stadium and Brackenridge Park, right behind the Sunken Garden Theater: Stadium Drive. It has a fenced sidewalk that steps down to the Sunken Garden cantilevered driveway (Alpine Dr) above 281. I've been on it. Anyone can use it but no one does. That and Tuleta Dr goes under 281 to the Zoo only steps from the east stadium parking lot.

Keep-SA-Lame Jul 3, 2010 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boquillas (Post 4899202)
There already is a bridge exactly where you're describing, between Alamo Stadium and Brackenridge Park, right behind the Sunken Garden Theater: Stadium Drive. It has a fenced sidewalk that steps down to the Sunken Garden cantilevered driveway (Alpine Dr) above 281. I've been on it. Anyone can use it but no one does. That and Tuleta Dr goes under 281 to the Zoo only steps from the east stadium parking lot.

I recently discovered that. It's a nifty back entrance to the park.

oldmanshirt Jul 3, 2010 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boquillas (Post 4899202)
There already is a bridge exactly where you're describing, between Alamo Stadium and Brackenridge Park, right behind the Sunken Garden Theater: Stadium Drive. It has a fenced sidewalk that steps down to the Sunken Garden cantilevered driveway (Alpine Dr) above 281. I've been on it. Anyone can use it but no one does. That and Tuleta Dr goes under 281 to the Zoo only steps from the east stadium parking lot.

Yeah I guess I was thinking of something a little further north, between Stadium Drive and Hildebrand. Maybe the city could one day revisit the original plans for 281 that called for a tunnel going under the park instead of cutting between it and the stadium. With the current interest in freeway parks (including plans for one over the Wornall-Rodgers Fwy in Dallas), it seems like it could be worth considering.

jaga185 Jul 3, 2010 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldmanshirt (Post 4899667)
Yeah I guess I was thinking of something a little further north, between Stadium Drive and Hildebrand. Maybe the city could one day revisit the original plans for 281 that called for a tunnel going under the park instead of cutting between it and the stadium. With the current interest in freeway parks (including plans for one over the Wornall-Rodgers Fwy in Dallas), it seems like it could be worth considering.

I've always thought that, and traffic wouldn't be too too bad, seeing as how we have 35, San Pedro, McCullough, Broadway, and 10 going North. There would be many options for commuters heading to and from downtown for them close it completely. It would make that area even more amazing.

sakyle04 Aug 8, 2010 4:46 PM

More news on the refurbishment of Alamo Stadium and the possibility of the Spurs/MLS playing a role...

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/soc...wFullArticle=y

sakyle04 Aug 8, 2010 4:50 PM

A quote from the above linked article...

Quote:

In the spring, Garza said, he saw some drawings of the stadium if SS&E became a partner.

“There are plans for suites and a restaurant. There wouldn't be a track, there would be a state-of-the-art sound system. It would be a whole new look for Alamo Stadium that would allow for concerts and multipurpose use, but my understanding is that it wouldn't be managed by SAISD. We'd have first rights for our events.”

sakyle04 Aug 26, 2010 7:35 PM

And it's DEAD. At least until after the November bond election. So there you go...

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/edu...wFullArticle=y

miaht82 Aug 27, 2010 4:28 PM

Good move by SAISD. Maybe now they can get rid of some of the confusion and get support for the bond elections.
Similar topic, different sport; I read somewhere (trying to find the article,) that SA Missions were looking to partner with SAISD, or UTSA to team up on a stadium near DT. Anyone else heard any details about this?

tgannaway89 Aug 28, 2010 2:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miaht82 (Post 4962048)
Good move by SAISD. Maybe now they can get rid of some of the confusion and get support for the bond elections.
Similar topic, different sport; I read somewhere (trying to find the article,) that SA Missions were looking to partner with SAISD, or UTSA to team up on a stadium near DT. Anyone else heard any details about this?

Not likely UTSA. They are planning to build all athletic facilities on Park West. Current facilities on Main Campus will become intramural. UTSA is even negotiating an additional land purchase for Park West to allow room for all the planned facilities (including a football stadium). The first student housing by Park West opened this year. That area will explode with growth.

miaht82 Aug 30, 2010 10:15 PM

I misread; the owner did say he would love to be DT, but said a more likely scenario would be out by UTSA.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/c...wFullArticle=y

Missions owner intrigued by future
Richard Oliver - Richard Oliver
Quote:

Speculation about San Antonio's future as a sports destination has included sporadic dialogue among city leaders about athletic facilities, including perhaps a ballpark closer to the community's tourism hub.

“Obviously, everyone would love to be downtown,” Elmore said. “Every ballpark built downtown, whether in Little Rock or wherever, has been successful.”

A more practical scenario has the Missions partnering with UTSA on a stadium planned near its main campus on Loop 1604. Earlier this year, Elmore visited with Roadrunners athletic director Lynn Hickey and her staff about the possibility.
Article from earlier this year:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/c..._94678639.html

Missions and UTSA talk about teaming up
Richard Oliver - Richard Oliver
Quote:

The 125 acres is nestled against Loop 1604 between Farris Stadium and Babcock Road. Level and unremarkable, largely populated by scrub brush, mesquite and cactus, the landscape doesn't exactly stir the soul.
But for UTSA athletic director Lynn Hickey, it's a foundation for the future.

Hickey sees the property, just down the road from the burgeoning university, as the would-be home of the state's most ambitious athletic complex. Already poised to host construction of track and field and soccer facilities next spring, long-term plans have the site someday accommodating football practice and soccer fields, tennis courts and a wide array of other sports.

And, just maybe, San Antonio Missions baseball.

Earlier this month, Hickey sat down with Dave Elmore, owner of the city's minor-league baseball team, to discuss a possible partnership.



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