Forget football and soccer, San Antonio may be in line for a Major League Baseball franchise, but insiders say the stadium would likely be north of city limits as part of a regional effort.
Speaking at a Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he's open to the possibility of expansion.
"Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I'm bullish on this game," Manfred said, according to Fox Sports. "I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I'm open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible."
A list of possible expansion cities has not been released, but thanks to the success of Major League Weekend in the Alamodome. In March, more than 46,000 tickets were sold for the Rangers’ pair of games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But the dome was built for football. To get a full time baseball team, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says a sport-specific stadium would be needed, and he thinks the most successful pitch to the league would be one between San Antonio and Austin.
“If they look at it with a joint market with four million people, the possibilities get better,” he tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
News that the league is expanding, he thinks, gives San Antonio a better shot at landing a team than trying to lure a franchise from another city.
“Which is always full of tremendous complications, like we experienced with the Marlins.”
In 2006, San Antonio tried to lure the Miami Marlins. Team owners visited the city, meeting with Judge Wolff and other business leaders, and even looked at a potential stadium site in the Longhorn Quarry, which is now home to the San Antonio Scorpions soccer stadium and Heroes stadium, which is used by the Northeast School District for football. An offer of $200 million toward an estimated $300 million ballpark was offered through hotel and rental car taxes.
Ultimately, the Marlins owners used that threat to leverage a new ballpark in Miami.
If the MLB expands, it would be for the first time since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came on board in 1998.