Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nolan Ryan Supports the Idea of San Antonio Marlins

And the plot thickens...
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan on Monday endorsed Bexar County's efforts to lure the Florida Marlins to San Antonio, saying Texas could support a third Major League Baseball franchise and this city is the right spot for it.

"The demographics of the state allows for another team to come here," Ryan said. "Given the projected growth of the state and the exciting things happening in San Antonio, I think (San Antonio) would support (a team)."

Ryan also suggested he would consider investing in the Marlins should they move here.

Ryan's comments came after he had lunch with County Judge Nelson Wolff, County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, County Budget Officer David Smith and County Chief of Staff Seth Mitchell at the Plaza Club atop Frost Bank's downtown tower. Ryan's sons, Reid and Reese, also were there.

The Marlins are exploring relocation options because stadium talks in South Florida have stalled.

The Marlins are waiting to hear from MLB on whether they can engage in more serious relocation talks with Bexar County.

MLB decided to take a closer look at the San Antonio market after Wolff faxed a stadium-financing proposal to the Marlins on March 8 that called for the county to pay two-thirds of the cost for a $300 million open-air ballpark.

Wolff says the county could raise $200 million if voters were to extend hotel/rental-car taxes used to build the AT&T Center. The deadline to call a November election is August.

Wolff hinted Ryan would campaign for the tax extension.

"It would help us tremendously to have his name attached to this," Wolff said. "It would make an election in November a lot easier."

The full story can be viewed at the Express-News.


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