Originally Posted by sakyle04
Apparently, the Missions (minor league team) and UTSA have had discussions about locating a shared facility downtown.
Here is the non-subscriber teaser paragraph from SA BIZ JOURNAL: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantoni...h.html?s=print
Any subscribers with full access?
From: SA Business Journal
W. Scott Bailey
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has proclaimed this as the “decade of downtown.”
Wolff says a downtown baseball stadium could be an economic-development catalyst, driving other development and activity.
“I think it would attract more people to live and work downtown,” he says. “It would also draw more people who are living in the outer reaches of the county to the center city.”
The Roadrunners currently play their home games in a small stadium tucked into a corner of their far Northwest Side campus. The university will move all of its athletics programs up to the Western Athletic Conference beginning next year and is looking to improve its facilities to
The Missions, members of the Double-A Texas League, play in an aging stadium that was built in 1994 and is located on the Southwest Side, in a neighborhood that has endured a number of economic setbacks over the years.
“There is evidence that the current situation isn’t working for the fans,” says Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni about the Missions’ ballpark, named for Wolff, who was instrumental in getting it built.
Cities that have invested in downtown ballparks have had success,” he adds.
Associate Athletic Director Brad Parrott says while UTSA’s preference is to build a new baseball venue that is part of a larger on-campus athletics complex, there are some economic challenges associated with such a plan.
“Ideally, if we are going to share a ballpark, it makes the most sense to us that it be (on campus),” Parrott says. “If that’s not possible for the foreseeable future, with the amount of fundraising that we need to do, we would consider moving downtown.”
Hickey was unavailable for comment at press time.
The Missions like the idea of a move downtown.
“It would be fantastic for baseball in San Antonio,” says Missions President Burl Yarbrough. “Downtown would be a great place.”
Wolff is not convinced that San Antonio needs to pursue a move up to Triple-A baseball now to build a new stadium. But he says a new ballpark should be built to accommodate future opportunities.
Branch Rickey III, president of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, won’t comment on the prospects of San Antonio moving up the baseball ladder, citing concerns about territorial rights and respect for its sister Texas League as reasons. What Rickey does say is that the PCL is aware that “there is a stadium-related dialogue going on (in San Antonio) which has referenced Triple-A baseball.”
Wolff says San Antonio could potentially build a first-class minor league ballpark for as little as $25 million. He believes a good portion of that funding could come from naming-rights revenue because a shared downtown ballpark would have more dates and higher visibility than the Missions’ current home. The balance would likely have to come from public sources.
Ben Brewer, president of Downtown Alliance San Antonio, says Wolff’s idea has merit.
“It’s absolutely doable,” he says.
“I’ve seen what a downtown ballpark did for Oklahoma City,” adds Brewer, who provided consultation to Oklahoma City officials for the development around their baseball stadium. “There are great opportunities to do something awesome here, to create a mixed-use development around a downtown ballpark.”
Wolff says there are multiple downtown sites that could accommodate a new ballpark. He lists the area immediately south of the Alamodome Alamodome
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“There are some viable places to do this,” he says.
Others at City Hall have explored such a plan. John Clamp was pursuing the idea of a downtown ballpark before his term as a member of City Council expired this spring. He, too, believes there are sites in the center city that would accommodate a new stadium.
Wolff says he became more fascinated with the idea of building a downtown ballpark that UTSA could share with the Missions after seeing the success of the Roadrunners’ new football team in attracting to the Alamodome 57,000 fans for their initial game.
“UTSA has shown that they can draw people downtown. So this has taken on a new dimension,” Wolff explains.
“We want to take baseball to the next level. So we need to improve the facilities,” Parrott insists.
He says UTSA officials will need to determine what is the “quickest way” to accomplish those goals. “We have proven that we can have a profound economic impact on the downtown area,” he adds.
Other universities have shared ballparks with minor league teams. The University of Nebraska, for example, shares Hawks Field at Haymaker Park with Lincoln’s minor league baseball franchise.
“We know the judge (Wolff) is interested in baseball,” says DiGiovanni, who believes that Wolff’s downtown ballpark idea has legs. “We’ll want a seat at the table. We will work with Wolff and the county and convene the appropriate parties to see how we can advance a plan.”