Major Changes in Austin MLS Plans Not Seen Affecting San Antonio

Talk of briging a Major League Soccer team to Central Texas was roiled again over the weekend, but there is nothing that indicates that San Antonio may again emerge as a contender for a team, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A complicated deal to Bring the Columbus Crew MLS franchise prompted Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to accuse the MLS of not playing fair with San Antonio, when the league encouraged the county to buy Toyota Field, a purpose-build soccer stadium on the northeast side which could be expandable to meet MLS requirements.

Wolff was angry because at the time the MLS did not tell Bexar County about a contract clause that allowed the Columbus Crew to move to Austin, a move that would essentially shut out the possibility of a franchise in San Antonio.

But now, the Crew is announcing it will not come to Austin.  

The Haslam family, which owns the Cleveland Browns, is working out a deal to buy the Crew and keep them in Ohio.

But the MLS is promising Austin an expansion franchise, which could begin play in 2021.  But it is uncertain who would own the Austin franchise.

And, there is another catch.  Several Austin community leaders say due to these developments, it might be a good idea to revisit the idea of  using taxpayer money to build a soccer stadium for the new franchise.

San Antonio already head a county-owned soccer stadium.  

But Wolff has moved on, indicating San Antonio could better benefit by bringing an international soccer team to the city, perhaps Liga MX, which is the top level of pro soccer in Mexico.

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