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Will Austin MLS Move Clear Way for New Missions Ballpark?

San Antonio Missions 2015With the Austin City Council approving a land lease for a new Austin MLS stadium, influential Judge Nelson Wolff says that there’s no support for MLS in San Antonio — and that’s possibly good news for the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League).

There is a domino effect associated with the likely move of the Columbus Crew to Austin for the 2019 MLS season, both within the pro-soccer world (as we detail on our sister site, Soccer Stadium Digest, which includes comments from Wolff), as well as the local San Antonio sporting scene. It’s no secret influential city officials were behind a potential MLS expansion team and focused energies there. But when it was increasingly clear that San Antonio MLS was not in the cards, a new Missions ballpark was back as a possibility.

The Elmore Sports Group is planning three simultaneous franchise shifts for the 2019 season: the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to San Antonio, the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) to Amarillo, and the Helena Brewers (Rookie; Pioneer League) to Colorado Springs. As part of that, the Sky Sox would plan in San Antonio under the Missions name and take up residency in Wolff Stadium until a new ballpark plan is in place. Earlier this year it was reported that city officials were quietly talking new ballparks with Elmore Sports Group reps, and with MLS off the table, we expect those talks to accelerate. Wolff Stadium is not a great ballpark and renovating it probably won’t lead to any tangible economic development — but a new ballpark in the Hemisfair complex or the northwest corner of the central business district could.

RELATED STORIES: New San Antonio Missions Ballpark Back on Track?; MLS, Not MiLB Preferred by San Antonio PoliticiansFallout of San Antonio Triple-A Move: Watch for New PCL Affiliations in 2018The Future of the Texas League: Remarkably StableAfter Helena Move, What Will Pioneer League Look Like?Elmore Sports Group: Three Franchise Shifts in 2019; San Antonio Mayor: Ballpark Talks Are Not DeadCity Suspends Planning on San Antonio Triple-A Bid

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