After Wednesday’s announcement of the pending sale, the San Antonio Soccer Examiner sat down with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and asked some questions surrounding where things are at and where to from here.
Chris Hockman: Where is yesterday’s deal at, what still has to be done?
Judge Wolff: What we have is just the business outline, and we take that to Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday and we’ll look to get support to it from there.
CH: Do you think you’ll get that support?
JW: You never know when you take it to the court, but there has been general support. This is all just business terms right now, and we need to work out the other terms as this continues
CH: Why do this now?
JW: There are two reasons for why now. First, Spurs will move to the United Soccer Leagues and they have a limited time frame to notify the league and begin play in the spring. Second, Gordon (Hartman) also faces a similar situation with notifying the North American Soccer League that he will not continue, so with that time crunch it had to be done now.
CH: What is the benefit for Bexar County? Why do this at JW: We (Bexar County) did a study two years ago, it was a study on the NFL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. That study showed us that we are ready now for MLS and this is our best opportunity to do that.
That the Spurs want to do this is a big factor as well, what factors in to MLS is who is the ownership group? Do they have the money? Do they have the sports experience? In the Spurs all those boxes are checked.
CH: Do you trust the Spurs to go MLS?
JW: Yes, they verbalized to us that they would do that and that clause is a big factor, they won’t want to lose money.
CH: We know the city has that clause, is there a similar clause with Bexar County?
JW: Yes, that clause is with both the city and county, both parties put up $9million. The penalty will start in six years, with both the county and the city getting $2.5 million and that increases as each year goes by.
CH: When does Expansion to Toyota Field happen?
JW: We, together with the city, committed to take any expansion to the voters in a ballot initiative which will decide on spending for expanding the stadium, but the timing for that is not determined yet.
In 2016 MLS will lay out the process for future expansion, which will like be at least 4-5 years out, expansion will depend on what MLS decides with expansion.
CH: Where is the money for this sale going?
JW: All the money that the city and the county are paying is not going to Gordon Hartman. Per an idea from Hartman the money is going directly to Morgan’s Wonderland to support the special needs community of San Antonio.
The San Antonio Soccer Examiner would like to thank Judge Nelson Wolff for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us, and also thank Laura Jesse at Bexar County for helping to organize the interview.