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Investors looking to buy San Antonio Scorpions, join MLS

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Andy Marlin

Reports on Tuesday are suggesting that an investment group in San Antonio would like to purchase the Scorpions, with the intention of joining MLS sometime before 2020. The Scorpions have long been rumored to be a potential target for Don Garber and MLS, and a Japanese investment group spent Monday outlining their plan to the San Antonio City Council.

One of the potential holdups with the plan is the group's plan to have the city purchase Toyota Field, before then leasing the facility to the new ownership:

A deal will hinge on the use of city funds to purchase the Scorpions’ home stadium, Toyota Field, located in Gallagher’s district on the Northeast side off I-35. Multiple sources say Hartman wants almost $30 million for the soccer-specific stadium, which was completed last year with the infrastructure to more than double its current capacity to the 18,000 or so necessary for MLS membership.

The facility would then be leased by the city to the investment group, which would absorb the various costs and fees required to join MLS. Sources have said that figure will total at least $100 million.

One person familiar with discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity, questioned whether municipal funds should be used to purchase a facility located so far from downtown, citing potential parking and traffic issues.

Losing the Scorpions would be a big blow to the NASL, as they've been one of the clubs who have shown a willingness to spend in order to put a quality product on the field. I'm sure they'd have no problem drawing consistently large crowds if they joined MLS, as they're among the NASL leaders in attendance already.

At the moment, MLS only has one announced expansion spot remaining, as they look to reach 24 clubs by 2020. The other rumored front runners are Sacramento and Minneapolis.