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San Antonio mayor embracing city’s growth in pro sports with XFL

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — There is little doubt San Antonio’s professional sports footprint is growing with the announcement the XFL is placing a team in the market. An expansion in pro sports could very well set the stage for even more opportunities in the future.

“We have to progress to a level in which a team can sustain itself. Unfortunately, for a lot of our history, we just haven’t had the financial base here in the city to support multiple professional franchises,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg during a recent appearance on The Blitz, a daily sports talk show on San Antonio’s Sports Star. But now Nirenberg sees the San Antonio pro sports landscape changing in big ways.

San Antonio will be one the of three XFL cities in Texas, joining Arlington (Dallas-Ft.Worth) and Houston. The unnamed franchise will play its home games at The Alamodome and former NFL wide receiver Heinz Ward will serve as head coach.

Nirenberg also thinks the new San Antonio football franchise will have an added advantage given its proximity to Mexico, which offers a potentially massive market even the NFL has tried to exploit in years past during its preseason. He also says San Antonio went with an XFL franchise instead of a USFL franchise because of ownership’s extensive background in large-scale entertainment and because of its affiliation with the NFL.

As far as talk about the Spurs playing future games in Austin, Nirenberg all but put that idea to rest by elaborating on the franchise’s history and future focus.

“The San Antonio Spurs, for the better part of the early 2000s, were the world’s team. That’s how the world got to know the NBA, so they have always been a very forward-looking franchise. They want to be Mexico’s team, and I think we should applaud that,” said Nirenberg.

The mayor also gave strong indication that the ownership of the Spurs fully intends to keep the franchise in San Antonio.

In baseball, the city is in ongoing talks, now involving Major League Baseball, to bring improvements to Nelson W. Wolff Stadium, home of the San Antonio Mission’s minor league baseball team, although no concrete plans have been announced.

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