The San Antonio Scorpions are having a great debut season both on and off the field. On Saturday they defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks for their 5th win in 10 games, leap-frogging Minnesota and taking sole possession of 2nd place in the NASL, just 1 point off of the league leading Puerto Rico Islanders.
The success the Scorpions have had on the field can be chalked up to coach Tim Hankinson and a budget from owner Gordon Hartman that has allowed him to get veteran players, many whom have spent time in MLS. But the off field success has been perhaps even more astonishing.
While lower level soccer has had it’s success stories in the past, they’ve been far and few between. The Scorpions who where told in a report funded by both Bexar County and the City of San Antonio, told owner Hartman that soccer would not fair well in the city and therefore he would receive no public funding to build a stadium. But Hartman had advisors that told him differently.
Hartman proceeded to get private funding for his new stadium and set about building that facility himself. That plan was presented in early January.
The average attendance for the Scorpions this season has been over 8,500 while playing in Heroes Stadium, a high school field with a track and football lines that holds 11,000. Hartman says the team has sold 3,000 season tickets and he’s concerned about the first phase of his stadium plan.
“That would fill up over half the stadium that we’re currently building,” Hartman said. “So that’s why where there has been some consideration – Do we go to phase two already?”
Hartman says he could yet accelerate the stadium build more but needs to continue to observe attendance.
The Scorpions front office is staffed by Play Book International (PMI) employees which is owned and operated by Michael Hitchcock who is also president of the Scorpions. In a recent interview Hitchcock told IMS that all of of the ten front office staff are PMI contract employees and seven of those ten are PMI executives with ticket sales experience.
While not a lot has changed in the first several phases of the stadium build, the overall look of the venue has changed at full capacity with a more horseshoe shape and more intimate seating then the original plan.
Old plan has 5 phases.
Phase I – 6100 seats, 16 VIP suites.
Phase II – 9,000 seats, 16 VIP suites.
Phase III – 11,000 seats, 34 VIP suites.
Phase IV– 14,000 seats, 34 VIP suites.
Phase V – 18,000 seats, 34 VIP suites.
New plan changes to 4 phases.
Phase I – 6169 seats, 16 VIP suites.
Phase II – 8,000 seats, 16 VIP suites.
Phase III – 12,000 seats, 32 VIP suites.
Phase IV – 18,500 seats, 32 VIP suites.