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Thursday, Apr 17th

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New San Antonio ballpark in play

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San Antonio Missions

A new downtown ballpark for the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) and the University of Texas at San Antonio is in play, as discussions have begun with Bexar County officials on a funding plan.

It's no secret Wolff Stadium is the least desirable facility in the Texas League right now. True, it's not nearly as old as one would assume -- it opened in 1994 -- but it was built before the boom in minor-league facilities introduced things like party suites and expansive deck-based picnic areas to the ballpark economy. Despite the size of the San Antonio market (25th largest in the nation, third-largest in Texas), the Missions ranked last this past season in Texas League attendance, drawing just 4,202 fans per game. The Missions have done a pretty good job in updating things, but the ballpark's location, on the outskirts of town, has been a deterrent to attendance as well.

It's also no secret that the Missions and the county have talked new ballpark in the past as well. Downtown San Antonio is already a major destination for both locals and tourist, and bringing a new ballpark there would only mean good things for the local economy.

And the project has a big backer, we're told: Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the Godfather of local baseball, is already involved in discussions. Yeah, Wolff Stadium is named for him.

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