San Antonio, a city that has long held NFL ambitions, is seeking a firm to conduct an assessment on its viability as a market for a professional sports franchise.
Currently the second-largest city in Texas by population, San Antonio has had various connections to the NFL over the years. The New Orleans Saints played a stint at the Alamodome (shown above in a football configuration) in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, while San Antonio was speculated as a potential destination for the Oakland Raiders when they were seeking a long-term stadium solution several years ago. (The Raiders have since moved forward with plans to relocate to Las Vegas in 2020.)
Discussions of the NFL in San Antonio could reemerge, as city officials are now seeking an assessment of the market’s viability for professional sports. A request for proposals (RFP) issued April 30 calls for prospective firms to evaluate the market as a landing spot for a professional sports franchise and “identify short-and long-term potential opportunities in professional sports, and support and advise on a strategic plan.” The RFP is not specific to one sport, but it could lead to a report that brings back discussions of San Antonio’s prospects of eventually landing a team in the NFL. More from KTSA:
San Antonio saw big success in football recently with the Alliance of American Football, dominating attendance figures. The San Antonio Commanders averaged about 28,000 fans at their home games while the next two closest cities, San Diego and Orlando, averaged just under 20,000 fans. The league helped showed the city’s hunger for more professional sports.
The most recent chance — or taste, depending on how you look at it — San Antonio had of getting an NFL team was when the New Orleans Saints played in the Alamo City after Hurricane Katrina. They ended up returning to New Orleans when it was safe for them to do so. There had also been chatter on the Oakland Raiders considering a move to San Antonio before they decided to move to Las Vegas.
As far as professional sports are concerned, there have been several questions of late in San Antonio. A proposal for an MLS expansion squad at an expanded Toyota Field has come into doubt with plans for an Austin team and stadium moving forward, as MLS officials have indicated that an Austin/San Antonio rivalry is not in the cards. There are also questions about a prospective new ballpark, as Minor League Baseball’s San Antonio Missions (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) want a long-term replacement for Wolff Stadium, but some in the city seem to harbor ambitions for getting into the major league expansion race should Major League Baseball eventually begin the process of jumping to 32 clubs.
That is why any assessment of San Antonio might look at multiple sports, but there have been recent signs of hope among San Antonio officials of an eventual NFL franchise, so it could be part of the discussion future planning. Responses to the RFP are due on May 31.
Image courtesy Alamodome.
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