By CARL SETTERLUND
The San Antonio Scorpions are thinking big.
The Scorpions released a proposal on Tuesday to expand the their soccer-specific home venue, Toyota Field, by roughly 10,000 seats as part of the city’s ongoing push to gain an MLS franchise. The club currently plays in NASL, but has a desire to reach the United States and Canada’s top league in the near future.
“The escalating interest in the Scorpions and professional soccer over the past two years has been mind-boggling,” said Soccer for a Cause founder Gordon Hartman through a San Antonio Scorpions press release. “We are blessed to be a franchise playing in the North American Soccer League, however we must be prepared to expand once support and investment are secured to allow for additional opportunities.
“We want to be ready to take our venue to the next level as fan and sponsor support in soccer continues to grow. The recent World Cup competition serves as a great example that the most popular sport internationally is gaining even more popularity all over the globe including San Antonio and South Texas.”
San Antonio has repeatedly finished near the top of the NASL in attendance, averaging over 80 percent of capacity since opening its 8,000-seat stadium in 2013.
An expansion to Toyota Field would mean the Scorpions could fit up to 18,000 fans on game days, making it the third-largest NASL stadium and put it roughly on par with most MLS soccer-specific stadiums.
The cost of the improvements is estimated at around $38-45 million, while the stadium design comes courtesy of Pro Sports Developments of San Antonio.
The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas are currently the two Texas-based clubs in MLS. The league has announced that it plans to expand to 24 teams by the end of the decade, and it is believed that the race for that 24th franchise is currently wide open.
What do you think of the Scorpions’ proposed plans for stadium expansion? Intrigued by the possibilities? Would you like to see a three-way Texas derby in MLS?
Share your thoughts below.