Gordon Hartman is the owner of the newest NASL franchise, San Antonio Scorpions FC, and plans to play its games at STAR Soccer Complex

San Antonio Scorpions FC Will Be Newest NASL Team

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Crocketteers Comment On Naming Of San Antonio Scorpions

One of the things that has made San Antonio such a promising soccer market is the existence of a seemingly thriving supporters group before there's even a team to support. The Crocketteers were founded in 2009 and count nearly 500 among their membership.

The group has promised to support whatever is the highest level of soccer in their city, but have tread carefully in the brewing battle between Gordon Hartman's NASL team and the USL-PRO team that has been promised by the group that owns the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. Both groups have said bringing MLS to San Antonio is their ultimate goal.

With the announcing of the NASL team's name, the San Antonio Scorpions, and the unveiling of plans for a 5,400-seat stadium, it would appear Hartman has taken the lead in winning the Crocketteers' loyalty. Until one of these teams actually plays a game, though, it's understandable that Crocketteers leadership is still choosing their words carefully.

"The goal of the Crocketteers is to bring the highest level of professional soccer to the market and in the United States that’s MLS," Crocketteers VP/Marketing-Media Steve Arters wrote in an email. "Until we can achieve that, we’re putting our full support behind NASL and, if developments warrant, a USL Pro franchise.

"We’ll support the Scorpions FC franchise – many in our group were the first to buy season tickets recently for the 2012 season – and we’re closely monitoring SS&E’s efforts to bring in a USL Pro franchise. As it stands now, all media reports have indicated SS&E – the parent company of the NBA San Antonio Spurs – is very interested in bringing a USL Pro franchise to San Antonio for 2012, but does not have a venue yet in which to play and is working on that major piece to the puzzle.

"We’ll continue to monitor the situation daily and help any way we can, but until SS&E announces there’s a venue for its USL team to play in to they are moving forward, we have to stand by. We have the greatest respect and admiration for SS&E. At the same time, we have great respect and admiration for Gordon Hartman and his ownership group as well and they’ve said on several occasions they’re moving forward, regardless of what SS&E plans to do."

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San Antonio Scorpions FC Will Be Newest NASL Team

It was announced several months ago that a San Antonio team would be joining the reborn NASL in 2012. Now that team has a name: San Antonio Scorpions FC. They will play their games at South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex in a yet-to-be-contsructed 5,400-seat stadium.

Owner Gordan Hartman said the team is seeking $8 million in public funds to help build the stadium, which would be expandable to 18,000 seats with the idea of potentially hosting a MLS team. The soccer complex currently has 13 regulation fields and is mostly used for youth soccer tournaments.

"STAR Soccer cost $10 million, and approximately half of the funding came from private sources," Hartman said during the press conference, noting construction will have to begin this spring in order to be ready for the start of next year. "We intend to build on the infrastructure already in place to create an up-to-date-yet-affordable playing facility for the Scorpions that can also host high school and collegiate tournaments as well as performances and other special events. To accomplish all this, we’re seeking approximately $8 million in public funding for a venue that will serve our community in many ways, not just pro soccer."

The STAR complex is affiliated with Morgan's Wonderland, an amusement park that offers free admission to special-needs children. Hartman said proceeds generated from the soccer team would help fund the park.

"We believe this is the first time a pro sports team has been organized whereby every cent of net revenue goes to support special-needs individuals," Hartman said.

"It takes a lot of money to operate and maintain the park in tip-top condition, especially when you admit special-needs individuals free of charge. The Scorpions will generate revenue that will make it possible to keep Morgan’s Wonderland open for years and years to come."

This announcement comes just as efforts by the group that owns the NBA's San Antonio Spurs to start a USL-PRO franchise were highlighted by an article at Inside Minnesota Soccer. That group is reportedly trying to refurbish Alamo Stadium, also with the longterm goal of bringing MLS to town.

The team's name was picked from a group of more than a thousand entrants.

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