- San Antonio FC / YouTube
On Wednesday, MLS officials announced that Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, and Sacramento are the chosen finalists vying for new franchises (teams) within the MLS. Officials will pick which two cities will be home to these new franchises by the end of 2017.
San Antonio has been working to attract an MLS team for years. According to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who played a lead role in this plan, MLS officials had even encouraged the county and city to purchase the $18 million Toyota Field stadium in 2015, on the assumption that San Antonio would soon have a national soccer franchise. The Spurs Sports and Entertainment began San Antonio FC with the intention of entering MLS within six years.
“The only reason we did this deal was to get to MLS,” Wolff told MLSsoccer.com last year. “There was no other reason.”
In a brief press release Wednesday morning, Judge Wolff expressed his disappointment in the announcement, but said he wasn't surprised by the decision.
“Consideration of the Spurs’ application is being deferred until the second phase of the expansion process with the agreement of the Spurs," Wolff said. It's unclear when that so-called "second phase" will kick off.
On Oct. 30, Wolff announced he'd requested a criminal investigation into the county and city's deal with MLS because of the "great deal of money, time, and energy" taxpayers have put into the Toyota Field expansion.