San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

XFL Football discussion.
Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:49 pm

Please refer to the introduction page in order to compare information with other markets.

Basic Market Data
CSA: San Antonio-New Braunfels; 2019 Population 2.6M; Growth since 2010: +19.06%
NFL Teams: None in market, closest team is Houston Texans(~3 hours from San Antonio), although there remains strong Dallas Cowboys fan base(~4 hours 15 min from San Antonio)
TV Market: 31st
Non-NFL Pro Teams: NBA: Spurs
Spring Football History: Gunslingers USFL, Average Attendance 13,582; Commanders AAF, Average Attendance 27,720
Stadiums: Alamodome, Capacity: 46K; Renovated: 2008, 2009, 2017

Market Characteristics

People Related

Economic Status and Culture: Like Hampton Roads, San Antonio has a heavy military presence. However, it also has a booming tourism industry with both the Alamo and Riverwalk located within the city. Recently, larger companies have left San Antonio despite it's continued growth. San Antonio residents don't have an immense level of disposable income, but are not too far below the national household income average. Unlike Hampton Roads, the economy doesn't define as much of the culture, with San Antonio not being a large port town. San Antonio has a unique history in the place of the Texas Revolution, being that the Battle of the Alamo took place there. A lot of the wild west rodeo culture took root there in combination with the city's Mexican past.
Assessment: Fortunately, San Antonio's status as a less white collar area plays directly into the XFL's favor in it's use of the Alamodome. By focusing on cheaper tickets and appealing to a broad fan base, they can fill out more and more seats as their presence solidifies. I expect San Antonio to rival St. Louis for being the attendance titans of the XFL once they arrive.

Population Growth Assessment: San Antonio is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States at 19.06% since the 2010 census, while already having over 2.5 million people. Likely, it has already caught up with the population of Pittsburgh in the 2020 census. By the 2030 census, it will likely catch up with the population of the St. Louis area. San Antonio's population is far from peaking, with land to expand and more and more jobs flowing in. The area isn't likely to come under threat in the future from flooding obviously, but rising temperatures could lead to drought problems in the long run. Not anything the XFL will have to worry about anytime soon but in 30+ years it could become a problem.

Universities: Trinity University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary's University, University of the Incarnate Word
Students in Total, Undergraduate and Graduate: 54.5K
Assessment: With large universities like UTSA and UIW being located within mere 20 minutes or less from the stadium and the Alamodome being a humongous facility, the XFL would do well to cater to college students here to help fill up the massive Alamodome as much as possible, especially if demand reaches the point where they consider opening the upper deck.

Transportation Related
Roads and Public Transportation: San Antonio is a very car reliant city, given it's large area and lack of alternatives. There is no light rail for the city, leaving the only alternative to driving being city buses. There is a bus stop right at the stadium, and for road fans, there is an Amtrak station within walking distance of the stadium as well.

Parking: With the Alamodome being designed originally for an NFL team, there is more than enough parking room for attending fans.

Assessment: With the vast majority of transport being done by car in San Antonio, having the parking facilities the Alamodome offers is crucial and only further serves to ensure fans have access to the games. However, the lack of public transportation options lend to traffic problems in and out of games. At least the city has no natural barriers around it to cause extra transportation failures.

Sport Related

Loyalty/Support of Sports Teams(Major and Spring Football):
San Antonio Spurs, ABA/NBA:
The history of the Spurs is that of a successful franchise who built a strong fan base off the backs of consecutive winning seasons along with some talented superstar players. Once they settled into the market, they were drawing over 10,000 fans a game in consecutive years due to a conference finals run in the late 70s that they nearly won and then multiple playoff runs in the years to follow helping to boon attendance before it again fell. That all changed with the arrival of David Robinson, also known as the Admiral. As he quickly reached his peak, they sold out the small HemisFair arena and moved to the Alamodome, where they could sell up to 40,000 seats in the playoffs and average anywhere from the high teens to 22K in attendance in the regular season. With the drafting of Tim Duncan in 1997, the Spurs began their championship runs that cemented a fan base there for decades to come, aided by the stellar coaching and of Gregg Popovich and star guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. However, the Spurs left the Alamodome after the 01-02 season and moved into an arena designed for basketball in the AT&T Center, where they regularly sell out over 18000 seats and have won 4 of their 5 titles.

San Antonio Gunslingers, USFL: Unfortunately, the Gunslingers are a USFL franchise that you don't want to remember. They played in a high school football stadium, were ran by a rich owner who pinched pennies at every opportunity, and were mediocre at best on the football field. To nobody's surprise, San Antonio football fans passed on turning up for such a poor product. The Gunslingers averaged 15.5K fans in 1984 and 11.7K fans in 1985 despite being broadcasted on national television from time to time and being in a relatively high profile football league.

The USFL failed to investigate owner Clinton Manges and his financial stability, relying on his brand name reputation to a fault, not even requiring him to invest in the franchise ahead of time. Thus, all sorts of wild stories emerged from the Gunslingers existence as his penny pinching ensued. The front office was staffed by his friends and family. The team's bus was an old SAISD bus with a broken gas gauge. 14,000 folding chairs were added around the end zones to raise capacity and reach the USFL's minimum number. The team's office was in a double wide trailer in the Alamo Stadium parking lot. The head coach in the first season and part of the next was a long time retired local legend who was deteriorating in health. The astroturf on the field was only a thin layer placed upon concrete, resulting in many injuries. Skin infections, scabs, and rashes were common due to Manges refusing to clean the turf and using industrial grade paint on it. The locker rooms weren't air conditioned. One time, the lights shut off during a game. When Manges's oil fortune tanked due to falling prices, they fired tons of staff on and off the field, while others resigned seeing the writing on the wall. Stories emerged that Manges had not in fact been on good financial footing even before being involved with the USFL. When reports came out over Manges's failures to pay the team, he revoked press credentials for the San Antonio Express-News, and he would regularly bounce reporters from the locker room who still were allowed in. Checks regularly bounced in the second season for players and all staff, and even for travel payments. The IRS put liens on the franchise for missing $400K in payroll taxes. An arbitrator almost released 30 players from their contracts. The head coach resigned because players weren't paid and players walked out from practice. Eventually, nothing was being paid at all.

All of this resulted in the Gunslingers being removed from the league before it ever went bankrupt. Most players never received the money they were missing, let alone staff.

Assessment: The Gunslingers were an unmitigated disaster. Fans were right not to support such a trashy organization. I see no fault in the poor attendance of the team given how much of a mess it truly was. This level of mismanagement puts the UFL or AAF to shame. If you want to truly be an embarrassment, the Gunslingers are the defining example of a failure to the fullest.

San Antonio Commanders, AAF: The AAF was announced on March 20, 2018, almost 2 months after the relaunch of the XFL, yet would start a year earlier than the XFL. The team wasn't even announced until June 21st, giving the team a mere 233 days to market itself before their first home game. And yet, fans still showed out for their Commanders like no other team in the league, with 27.7K fans showing out weekly, with a season high of over 30,000 in week 7. The Commanders were moderately successful on the field but far from some sort of dominant show that would draw in the fans(not even Orlando was razzle dazzle enough to really increase draw despite being the most successful team). They played at the Alamodome, the only professional level football facility in the area, much like the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis except capable of filling out slightly more with expanded capacity while not having as many suites to generate revenue as the dome in St. Louis.

The AAF had a relatively poor television deal, having most games on NFL Network and CBSSN. Select games were on CBS and TNT. Furthermore, they had to pay for production costs for games. Thus, the Commanders really didn't see much of a national marketing boost the way any XFL team received from their national marketing push.

The AAF's funding base was insecure from the start. Reggie Fowler got busted for fraud and was forced to withdraw his funds, which put the league in a bind, forcing them to give total control to Tom Dundon who would proceed to pull the plug after not being able to get a deal with the NFLPA to become an NFL minor league. The AAF had a (raw) net worth of -$37 million upon filing for liquidation in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Context: The XFL's raw net worth was a much more manageable ~-$2,556,000 when it declared chapter 11 bankruptcy, although the numbers were revealed by the firefighter's pension lawsuit and not the bankruptcy dealings, and likely have increased in amount as more claims were filed against the league later on, but to be fair, the AAF likely had more players claiming against them as well even though they likely would never see a dime.

Assessment: San Antonio showed out for a poorly ran and thrown together football league that produced at its best an adequate product. Likely, if a league came around with better marketing and a better product, even more fans would flock to the Alamodome. Ultimately, the support of the Commanders cemented San Antonio as a future XFL relocation or expansion market, as it simply cannot fail, especially given the market is still growing rapidly.

UTSA has relatively strong attendance for a C-USA team, averaging about 20,000 fans or more every season. Not too much to write home about for a team in a large market and over 34,000 students but still quite respectable especially for a team without much success lately.

Attempts to Bring Sports Teams: The Saints played in the Alamodome for 3 games in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. In those 3 games, they averaged over 62.6K fans in attendance, despite short notice. This put San Antonio on the map for the NFL as a future expansion market. However, until the stadium is renovated at an extreme level the NFL will not come around to San Antonio, despite rumors the Raiders would either relocate to San Antonio temporarily or permanently. The city also tried to bring an MLS team but failed after it was revealed the city would have to build a soccer specific stadium after the team played 3 years in the Alamodome, resulting in a public campaign against the proposal. The city also made an offer for the Florida Marlins in 2006 but the MLB turned it down.
Assessment: This city has proven with it's Saints and Commander's attendance that they are football hungry, and the city's multiple attempts to bring pro sports teams shows a level of willingness to bring the XFL back in as long as they are well backed, which they are.

Stadiums: Alamodome
Image
Image
Image
Image
ImageImage
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

The stadium has 52 suites, all on the club level, which has 7204 other seats. 14 of these suites were added in 2006, while 14 suites that were supposed to be in the stadium have still not been built. 29,810 seats are available on the first level, and 27,605 seats are available on the upper level. If necessary, football capacity can be expanded to 72,000. In 2016, the Alamodome expanded, adding 4 new video screens that are each 34x60 feet, a 360 degree ribbon board on the 5th level, a new sound system, and improved lighting, as well as improved concessions sourced from local restaurants, and expanded concourses. Concessions options also include typical stadium fare and local Alamo Beer Company which made two Commanders branded beers. The Alamodome also offers a full service restaurant called the Top of the Dome Restaurant on the upper level. There are three club areas: The Hall of Fame Club, the South Club Eyebrow, and the South Upper Eyebrow. The Eyebrows are very similar: just open space areas that can run events like banquets. The Hall of Fame Club on the other hand has stairs directly up to the Top of the Dome restaurant, along with it's own kitchen and bars inside the club. Locker rooms were also renovated in 2016. Finally, there is a large plaza in front of the stadium to hold events pre-game.
Assessment: The Alamodome has all the necessary facilities to hold an XFL team without question. In every single way except for suite capacity it is directly comparable to the dome in St. Louis. There should be no fear about modifying the field, as the turf was already modified for the Commanders before. On top of that, the Alamodome is in short distance away from downtown San Antonio, perfectly lined up for fans from the city. It really does seem like a guaranteed successful facility for a future XFL team.


Key League Decision: To Relocate or To Expand?
The Renegades may have had some moderate attendance success, but ultimately, playing at Globe Life Park will always be a compromising proposition. There's only so many seats you can sell there and the rest are forced to remain empty, always making the stadium feel a bit cavernous. Also, the sight lines were built for baseball exclusively, with seats angled towards home plate, which makes it a little awkward depending on where you sit on the former first base line. Furthermore, Dallas fans are heavily occupied, with a team in every Big 5 league. Sure, the team could consider moving to Fort Worth and playing at TCU or playing at SMU in University Park, but both of those have other limitations in either facility quality in the case of SMU or in the case of TCU, being far from Dallas. Ultimately, the XFL has to weigh whether it's better to retain the TV market of Dallas with the Renegades or move them to San Antonio. My bet is they will stick in Dallas and eventually expand to San Antonio, as attendance is solid enough in Dallas and the TV market is too irresistible, and unlike in Atlanta, Globe Life Park's limitations are actually tolerable. The grandstand is big enough to connect to the second deck and not leave a bunch of empty grass behind it like in Atlanta. They can just tarp off the seats that aren't angled towards the field well enough on the baselines or that are blocked off by the grandstand. At least they have a solid number of suites leftover from the Rangers to make the stadium have a high profit potential despite not being able to sell as high quality seats; then again, at least the large majority of the seating is chairback.


Team Branding Ideas

Team Name: Looking at the history of football in San Antonio, one name really jumps out to me: the Toros. Back in the 60's and 70's there were tons of regional semi pro outdoor football leagues with varying levels of prominence. In 1966, the Texas Football League was born. In 1967, San Antonio finally had its first semi-professional team in the arrival of the San Antonio Toros, who would play in the championship game or be champions every season they played. In their first season they went undefeated in league play and won the title, losing only one exhibition game, and with a season and all time attendance high of 16,935 against the previously undefeated and dominant Richmond Mustangs at Alamo Stadium. The Toros would fold in 1974 along with the final league they played in, the Southwestern Football League, after also moving to the Continental Football League and then playing in the Trans American Football League.

The name also ties in well with both the rodeo/wild west aesthetic of the city and it's Tejano roots. Furthermore, now that a Hispanic woman is part of league ownership, it fits a bit more to have Spanish team names like this where they make sense.

Team Colors: The Toros played in red, black and white. Fortunately, that is a workable color combination with the XFL, as the Guardians main colors are black and silver with only red accents, while the Defenders only play in red and white. It would be wise in my opinion to bring these colors back, as it fits the aesthetic of rodeos/matadors with the red as the cloth that's waved, the black as the color of the bull, and white as the color of it's horns. Examples from the Toros back in the day are below.
Image
Image
Image

Conclusion: San Antonio seems like a guaranteed future XFL team should the league last long enough to expand. However, the XFL could also move there sooner if the Dallas market doesn't meet league expectations. The city has a rich culture and history as well as a diehard football fandom eagerly awaiting a team to root for. The area is rapidly growing as well and will soon become the same size as the XFL's smallest existing market. The Alamodome may be an aging cavern but it's being maintained well enough and is low quality enough to keep out NFL teams from ever being interested in playing there, while offering plenty for the XFL. Thus, the XFL can just swoop in whenever the time is right. Furthermore, they have the chance to revive a unique piece of history of San Antonio by bringing back the name of the first professional football team ever to represent San Antonio in the Toros, which would help tie themselves to the football history of the market and to a successful team who still has a legacy in the area to this day.

Given all this information(and anything else you might know), what do you think about placing an XFL team in the San Antonio area? How would you compare it to the other options available? How soon do you think a team should be placed there(and why is the answer at the first well prepared opportunity)? Should it be by expansion or relocation of the Renegades? Lemme hear it in the comments below.
Last edited by Rangersking669 on Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

GDAWG
Head Coach
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:15 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by GDAWG » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm

San Antonio should be one of the first markets to consider once the XFL does decide to expand, which should no earlier than right after a 3rd full season, which means that a San Antonio team would not be up and running until 2026.

Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:52 pm

GDAWG wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm
San Antonio should be one of the first markets to consider once the XFL does decide to expand, which should no earlier than right after a 3rd full season, which means that a San Antonio team would not be up and running until 2026.
With San Antonio there's nothing to consider unless the city decides to not play ball with you literally at all and just won't let you come. But otherwise you have to pull the trigger ASAP(ie first expansion round)

Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:53 pm

GDAWG wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm
San Antonio should be one of the first markets to consider once the XFL does decide to expand, which should no earlier than right after a 3rd full season, which means that a San Antonio team would not be up and running until 2026.
So, thoughts on the Toros name?

GDAWG
Head Coach
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:15 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by GDAWG » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:14 am

Rangersking669 wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:53 pm
GDAWG wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm
San Antonio should be one of the first markets to consider once the XFL does decide to expand, which should no earlier than right after a 3rd full season, which means that a San Antonio team would not be up and running until 2026.
So, thoughts on the Toros name?
Not a bad name. I would try to see if I can get the trademark for "San Antonio Commanders" though.

As for the Renegades, I think eventually they won't stay in Arlington for much longer. If I was the XFL, I'd keep them in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, but somewhere else. My choices are Fort Worth or Frisco.

Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:39 am

GDAWG wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:14 am
Rangersking669 wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:53 pm
GDAWG wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm
San Antonio should be one of the first markets to consider once the XFL does decide to expand, which should no earlier than right after a 3rd full season, which means that a San Antonio team would not be up and running until 2026.
So, thoughts on the Toros name?
Not a bad name. I would try to see if I can get the trademark for "San Antonio Commanders" though.

As for the Renegades, I think eventually they won't stay in Arlington for much longer. If I was the XFL, I'd keep them in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, but somewhere else. My choices are Fort Worth or Frisco.
Frisco would be tough as it's a bit far from the fort worth side of the city but who knows. I don't see them leaving a facility that is good quality and is basically only theirs but it's possible

My problem with the Commanders is the name kind of lends itself to getting stuck in controversy in the future. Also I personally am not so interested in taking on any old AAF names but that's just me.

GDAWG
Head Coach
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:15 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by GDAWG » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:16 pm

Rangersking669 wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:39 am
GDAWG wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:14 am
Rangersking669 wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:53 pm

So, thoughts on the Toros name?
Not a bad name. I would try to see if I can get the trademark for "San Antonio Commanders" though.

As for the Renegades, I think eventually they won't stay in Arlington for much longer. If I was the XFL, I'd keep them in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, but somewhere else. My choices are Fort Worth or Frisco.
Frisco would be tough as it's a bit far from the fort worth side of the city but who knows. I don't see them leaving a facility that is good quality and is basically only theirs but it's possible

My problem with the Commanders is the name kind of lends itself to getting stuck in controversy in the future. Also I personally am not so interested in taking on any old AAF names but that's just me.
The issue with Globe Life Park is that it the talk in the area was that a lot of people were surprised that it was kept around for football, seeing as though Jerry World is right across the street. The talk is that the end game is that it could be used as a venue for UT-Arlington football if they ever bring it back, but that seems unlikely. The stadium will host Dallas Jackals of Major League Rugby and North Texas SC (minor league affiliate to FC Dallas). The talk though is that eventually that stadium will have their capacity reduced to closer to 20,000, although there are some who want the stadium to permanently close and torn down.

Edit: Dallas Jackals will not play at Globe Life Park for 2021. They will be back in 2022.

Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:39 pm

GDAWG wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:16 pm
Rangersking669 wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:39 am
GDAWG wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:14 am


Not a bad name. I would try to see if I can get the trademark for "San Antonio Commanders" though.

As for the Renegades, I think eventually they won't stay in Arlington for much longer. If I was the XFL, I'd keep them in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, but somewhere else. My choices are Fort Worth or Frisco.
Frisco would be tough as it's a bit far from the fort worth side of the city but who knows. I don't see them leaving a facility that is good quality and is basically only theirs but it's possible

My problem with the Commanders is the name kind of lends itself to getting stuck in controversy in the future. Also I personally am not so interested in taking on any old AAF names but that's just me.
The issue with Globe Life Park is that it the talk in the area was that a lot of people were surprised that it was kept around for football, seeing as though Jerry World is right across the street. The talk is that the end game is that it could be used as a venue for UT-Arlington football if they ever bring it back, but that seems unlikely. The stadium will host Dallas Jackals of Major League Rugby and North Texas SC (minor league affiliate to FC Dallas). The talk though is that eventually that stadium will have their capacity reduced to closer to 20,000, although there are some who want the stadium to permanently close and torn down.

Edit: Dallas Jackals will not play at Globe Life Park for 2021. They will be back in 2022.
They host a lot of high school football games now..the capacity is definitely going to be reduced it's just a matter of how much will they reduce it. Personally I'd just take out the seating that you can't see the field from easily and probably get rid of the entire third/top deck

GregParks
XFLBoard Correspondent
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 8:09 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by GregParks » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:14 pm

I guess I didn't realize Globe Life Park was so old (frequent name changes will do that to stadiums). I thought aesthetically it looked good on TV for XFL games, and liked how it looked "different" from other stadiums.
@gregmparks

Rangersking669
Running Back
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:46 pm

Re: San Antonio, TX- XFL Expansion/Relocation Discussion Bonanza

Post by Rangersking669 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:33 pm

GregParks wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:14 pm
I guess I didn't realize Globe Life Park was so old (frequent name changes will do that to stadiums). I thought aesthetically it looked good on TV for XFL games, and liked how it looked "different" from other stadiums.
It really isn't that old. It was opened in 1994. The problem is that the park was built for baseball exclusively and while the reno helps immensely, there's still some significant limitations to the park that have to be considered that can't easily be renovated out

Post Reply