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No MLB or NFL for SA any time soon

San Antonio is many things, but a Major League Baseball or NFL city is isn’t, and won’t be any time soon.

Those are the findings of California-based Premier Partnerships, which recently submitted the results of a six-month feasibility study commissioned by Bexar County and San Antonio to determine the viability of professional sports in the area.

The company, which describes itself as a sales and marketing firm that focuses on “revenue optimization” of sports initiatives, found that San Antonio, while hungry to pursue heavyweight leagues, is lacking in corporate sponsorship dollars and infrastructure.

The $50,000 report, which runs more than 250 pages, concludes the city “should continue to build its sports landscape and take a ‘wait and see’ approach with larger professional leagues.”


The study shows San Antonio lags behind major sports markets in critical areas.

For example, it found the average NFL host metropolitan area includes 18 Fortune 500 companies, ranks 18th as a media market and has a $53,800 median household income. The San Antonio region, in comparison, has six Fortune 500 companies, ranks 37th as a media market and has a $48,000 median income.

Major League Baseball host areas average 17 Fortune 500 companies, average 13th as a media market and have a $71,800 median household income.

“Clearly, the matrix of this (study) shows that it would be difficult to get it,” said County Judge Nelson Wolff, a longtime proponent of luring big-league baseball to San Antonio. “Instead of us talking about getting something in Major League Baseball or the NFL, it makes more sense to look into the future a little more. In 10 or 20 years, what might be available then?”

Fortune 500 companies are useful for buying up luxury suites, which is where the real money comes from, but the overall population is important, too. As we’ve seen before, even as the city of San Antonio has grown, the San Antonio MSA – excuse me, the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA – still lags behind most of the existing ones with MLB and/or NFL teams. As a media market, San Antonio is only #31; Dallas is #5, and Houston is #6, and most other major league cities are in bigger markets. Put it all together, and I think Judge Wolff has the right idea.

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  1. They could always try kickball. I am sure that would go over well. San Antonio is a nice town but it is just not “major league.”

  2. RBearSAT says:

    Thanks for the post Charles. Yes, that study was much needed to help refocus some in this town away from the delusional thought that we are an NFL or MLB level city. I know we boast about being the 7th largest but, as you pointed out, we really aren’t that big when you consider the MSA. What we use the “7th largest” number for mostly is to try to convince people in this town we need to be more progressive when addressing city needs such as transit or urban revitalization.

    With UTSA finally starting its football program this year we can hopefully start to rally around some true local sports organizations that have the potential to grow. Seeing college football downtown 6-8 times a year will hopefully give the city a more realistic outlook on what we can be and not what we think we should be at this point.