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San Antonio Mayor: Ballparks Talks are Not Dead

San Antonio Missions 2015

San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor says that the city is still willing to discuss a proposal for a new Triple-A ballpark, but is calling for private sector support.

Taylor recently revealed that plans for a ballpark for the relocating Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) would be shelved, as the city could not afford to include the ballpark in either its budget or bond program for fiscal year 2017. While the city’s contribution remains in question, the possibility of building a ballpark is not being ruled out.

On Monday, two separate ballpark studies were released. One from the City of San Antonio that was conducted by the Barrett Sports Group, and another from Brailsford & Dunlavey that was commissioned by the nonprofit Centro San Antonio. The consensus among the two reports is that San Antonio ranks favorably in comparison to existing Triple-A markets, and that there are plenty of options for a ballpark location in and around the city’s downtown.

The problem for Taylor and Elmore Sports Group–which owns both the Sky Sox and the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League)–is the cost. Looking at a ballpark that could come with a price tag upwards of $80 million, Taylor says that she wants some private sector support on the table. More from the San Antonio Express-News:

After Monday’s meeting, Taylor said that while plans are on hold, she and the Elmores agreed that further discussions can proceed.

“I guess what I would say I foresee is that if there is a viable proposal that comes forward that has substantial private-sector support from the Elmores or anyone else, I would certainly want to bring that to my colleagues, and depending on the level of city investment, we’d determine how we want to move forward,” she said.

David Elmore noted in a prepared statement that his company has owned and operated San Antonio’s Double-A franchise for more than three decades.

“We are committed to San Antonio,” he said. “Every new ballpark project, in every city, is different, every time. Such projects typically take many twists and turns. We are enthusiastic about a Triple-A ballpark in downtown San Antonio. Having studied other very successful examples of downtown Triple-A ballparks — in cities such as Charlotte and Nashville — and appreciating the potential of San Antonio, we want to participate in the opportunity to help move such a project forward in this city.”

Elmore and his associates are reviewing the ballpark study and “need to look at it very closely” but have reiterated to Taylor both their support and “willingness to be a partner.”

Before the announcement that the ballpark could not be immediately financed by San Antonio, it was projected to open in 2019. While the timeline is far from certain, it seems that all interested parties are continuing some level of discussion. Amarillo, which is vying to obtain the Double-A Missions if San Antonio lands a Triple-A squad, has said that it will maintain a dialogue with the Elmore Sports Group.

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