SA To Get United Soccer League Franchise In 2016
Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced today that it has reached an agreement with Bexar County and the City of San Antonio to operate a soccer franchise at Toyota Field in 2016.
The deal is part of a collaborative effort by the city, county and SS&E to pursue bringing Major League Soccer, MLS, to the Alamo City.
Toyota Field was purchased by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County for $18 million. As part of the agreement, Spurs Sports & Entertainment has donated $3 million to Morgan’s Wonderland. SS&E agreed to a 20-year lease to run all operations within Toyota Field, while also pursuing an MLS franchise.
SS&E plans to operate a United Soccer League, or USL, franchise in 2016. The league is comprised of successful independent teams as well as MLS-owned and operated franchises. Five of the last seven new MLS franchises played in the USL.
“This deal wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support from both the City of San Antonio and Bexar County,” said Rick Pych, Spurs Sports & Entertainment President of Business Operations, in a press release. “We are very excited to continue the growth of soccer in San Antonio, and we plan to operate a USL franchise as part of a proven path to Major League Soccer. We look forward to bringing the highest level of soccer to San Antonio.”
“The City and County’s purchase of Toyota Field is the first step toward bringing a Major League Soccer team to San Antonio,” said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “Spurs Sports & Entertainment is recognized as one of the best professional sports businesses and we are fortunate to have them as a partner in this effort. Today’s announcement marks significant progress toward achieving our shared goal.”
A team website has been established at USLSanAntonio.com. Fans can also follow the newest professional franchise Twitter at @USLSanAntonio and on Facebook by liking USL San Antonio. The team name along with a club crest and jersey design will be announced in the near future.