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MLS will go to San Antonio

Andrew W

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Well if San Antonio does start play in 2006, it's not good for Toronto cause I doubt they will go with an odd number of teams. Unless they move/fold a team like KC or San Jose. So Toronto will probably have to wait until 08/09 because I doubt MLS will add 4 teams in 2 years.

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How many expansion teams are going into MLS for the 2006 season??? According to the Kansas City Wizards' fan message Board, they are confident that this new San Antonio entry will not effect them in any way what-so-ever. In fact, Wizards fans have stated that the new San Antonio franchise is simply a new ownership buying the rights to opperate a new franchise in San Antonio, rather than relocating the KC Wizards to San Antonio.

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Looks like that they are getting one heck of a lease offer from the city in regards to the Alamodome. It's also noted that the 5,000 tickets seems more for deposits on season tickets.


City to eye a way to score soccer for the Alamodome

Web Posted: 04/14/2005 12:00 AM CDT

Travis E. Poling

Express-News Business Writer

San Antonio could take another step closer today to Mayor Ed Garza's quest for a Major League Soccer team, but the deal would come with a $6.44 million price tag and the sale of a piece of the city's identity.

The City Council is to consider a memorandum of understanding between the city and Major League Soccer that calls for the city to spend $2.74 million to complete 14 luxury suites in the Alamodome — bringing the total to 52 — put down a new turf cover and refurbish some offices.

An additional $3.7 million would go for a practice facility that would include two high-quality soccer fields, offices, locker rooms and physical training space.

It also would give team owners the ability to sell the naming rights to the Alamodome, a building that has avoided a corporate moniker for more than a decade.

City officials have had talks with three potential owner groups about bringing a relocated or expansion team here and even building a soccer stadium and mixed-use development adjacent to the Alamodome. The potential owners haven't been identified.

The memorandum of understanding was prepared by Alamodome Director Mike Abington. If approved by the council, it will serve as an outline for drawing up a contract to bring a professional soccer team here.

According to the memorandum:

The team would get the Alamodome rent-free for 20 games a year.

The team would keep all revenue from tickets, parking and concessions.

The team would get half of any revenues from events it co-sponsored with the city, such as an exhibition soccer match featuring teams from Mexico.

The city would receive 5 percent of any advertising signage sold by the team in the dome and 30 percent of the naming rights payments if a sponsor is lined up before the end of 2006. The city's cut would drop to 20 percent of the net revenue from naming rights if the sponsor isn't landed until after 2006.

"Alamodome" would be a part of any name.

The initial five-year lease would include four additional five-year extensions. The only penalty for breaking the lease would be for the team to pay a portion of the $426,000 the city spent sprucing up the dome offices.

Driving the effort to land another big league sport is the desire to get more events in the Alamodome and raise the profile of the city, including attracting soccer fans from northern Mexico.

Garza didn't return calls for comment on the memorandum.

District 4 Councilman Richard Perez said the agreement would generate some revenues and close the gap on expenses.

"The dome is there. We can't bulldoze it. We can't raze it," Perez said. "It's an asset that generates revenues, but it doesn't generate revenues every day."

He said the city's $6.44 million investment to upgrade the dome and build new facilities would be worth it in the long run.

Perez said he has high hopes for soccer in San Antonio and believes it could be a good family spectator sport and even lead to a partnership with a Mexican team.

Dan Courtemanche, MLS senior vice president, said the success of several major international soccer matches in the Alamodome over the past year drew the league's attention even though all existing MLS teams play in open-air stadiums specifically built for soccer.

"This would be an innovative agreement," Courtemanche said of playing indoors.

The average ticket price at the low end for Major League Soccer is $14, Courtemanche said.

Other soccer stadiums recently built or in the works are chasing naming rights dollars, including stadiums in Frisco, Texas; Denver and Chicago. What's more, the league would like to expand to 18 teams from 12 in the next 10 years.



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