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Missions sign deal to be an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers

September 18, 2018

When the San Antonio Missions open the 2019 season as a AAA team, the prospects everyone in the stands will be watching will be from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Missions agreed to a player-development contract Tuesday with the Milwaukee Brewers that will last through the 2020 season.

“With our promotion to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, they will be terrific partners as we begin a new era of Missions baseball in 2019,” Missions President Burl Yarbrough said in a press release. “The Brewers were in town last week to see our facility and discuss our renovation plans for the clubhouse and batting cages. After meeting with them and seeing their excitement for San Antonio, we feel the Brewers were the best fit for us.

When the Missions were bounced from the Texas League playoffs on Friday, the Double-A club’s more than 100-year association with the Texas League ended. Elmore Sports Group (ESG) is committed to moving its Triple-A Pacific Coast League team in Colorado Springs, Colo., to the Alamo City in 2019, while San Antonio’s current team sans the Missions name moves to a new $45.5 million downtown ballpark in Amarillo.

ESG unveiled that plan in June 2017 with the hopes that a blueprint for a new stadium, preferably with a downtown location, would materialize in San Antonio. But more than a year later, a stadium development plan for a venue that will likely come with a price tag exceeding $75 million remains elusive.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reiterated in early August he isn’t willing to use public money to help the Missions build a downtown stadium.

The Brewers had an existing four-year relationship with Colorado Springs, which has relocated to San Antonio for the 2019 season.

Milwaukee is coming off another strong year in its farm system. Double-A Biloxi finished 81-59 in 2018 and advanced to the Southern League Championship Series. Colorado Springs went 73-66 and ended up just a game and a half from a division title.

“The Brewers have one of the top farm systems in baseball,” Yarbrough said, “and we look forward to helping them put many more players into major league baseball.”

San Antonio officially begins its Triple-A era on April 4 when it opens up a five-game series at Oklahoma City. Its first homestand in the Pacific Coast League will begin April 9 with the first of three against Memphis.

San Antonio and Milwaukee previously worked together for the 1972 season with the club taking the Brewers as its nickname. The Brewers nickname would last through the 1976 season.

The Missions will remain at Wolff Stadium, their home since 1994, while ESG searches for a site and developers to build a downtown stadium that could be part of a mixed-use development with restaurants and retail.

Wolff Stadium, located on the city’s Southwest Side about eight miles from downtown, has 6,200 fixed seats. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff floated the idea last week of expanding the venue that bears his name to the Triple-A required 10,000 seats.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Elmore Sports Group and relocate our Triple-A team to San Antonio,” Milwaukee Brewers General Manager David Stearns said in the release. “San Antonio provides one of the premier minor league markets in the country and offers our players a quality player development environment. We look forward to many future Brewers making their final minor league stop at Wolff Stadium.”

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