The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Bexar County approves $10 million development for new sports venues on campus

Darnell Smith, athletics director at Texas A&M University-San Antonio said in an interview Nov. 17 that a $10 million agreement between Bexar County and A&M-San Antonio will enhance the campus as its enrollment grows, providing athletic and recreational opportunities on the Southside of San Antonio where such amenities are lacking.

Still early in the planning stages, the grant is set to fund a $7.4 million track and multipurpose field. The remaining $2.4 million will renovate the school’s existing softball field into a softball stadium.

On Oct. 10 the Bexar County Commissioners Court approved an action to grant A&M-San Antonio $10 million and enter into a development agreement with the school for the construction and improvements of the sports venues.

The expansion and growth of A&M-San Antonio is continuing to contribute to the South Bexar County community and part of their growth is building sports related venues that will meet the needs of the athletics program and the surrounding community. 

During the commissioners court meeting Oct. 10 Smith told the commissioners that the disparity of sports fields in an area  such as Precinct 1 in Southwest San Antonio was a challenge. 

“One of the ways that we can be good stewards in our community is through our facilities,” Smith said. “Initially the challenge came in when there was a disparity in sports venues in an area that is large and has a growing population.”       

Precinct One commissioner Rebecca Clay-Flores agreed.

“Our community in precinct one needs to exercise more and get some fresh air,” Clay-Flores said.  “I really encourage residents to come out and get fit”.

Jaci Vargas, a junior at A&M-San Antonio and supervisor of facilities for recreational sports said  the addition of the rec sports facility and the sports venues benefits athletics and students by giving them a place to hangout.    

“I think it will bring in a lot of students and community members,” Vargas said. “People recognize a gym or an indoor spot to come together and another option for students and athletes to workout.” 

Vargas also plays for A&M-San Antonio’s women’s soccer team as a defender and was surprised to hear about the expansion of the new sports venues coming soon.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s soccer field, located south of lot 2 on Dec. 14, 2023. Photo by Johnathan Peña

“All the athletic teams met together with Darnell, our Athletic Director. I remember them showing the render but it was the idea and the talk of it,” Vargas said. “Knowing now that there is money being put into the idea–it makes it feel surreal.”   

Nicole Dufour, head softball coach at A&M-San Antonio said everyone is on the same page and excited for the new facilities on campus. 

“Everyone is very excited not only for the athletics department but the university as well,” Dufour said.

This will take our athletics and our softball team to the next level,” Dufour said. “It will finally allow us to invite high school teams from the area and different select organizations to come to our campus and utilize our facilities.” 

Smith also said the expansion will provide the southside community with new opportunities and much needed facilities as many public fields are located on the northwest side of San Antonio.

“I’m excited beyond belief. When I first started here it was a dream concept, not knowing how that would come to fruition.”

Construction activity on A&M-San Antonio’s campus has paralleled the university’s growth in enrollment and services.. In the spring, the university opened a new library and business building. 

Next year, the school will finish construction on a $19.2 million, 22,322-square-foot recreational center and a new dormitory that will house 380 students.

In the spring of 2024, the university will start construction on a new $45 million College of Education and Public Health facilities.

There is no set date for the construction of the new venues being developed.

“It took a lot of work to get to this point and for us to now to have that support, and the impact it will leave for our community,” Smith said. “I am just overjoyed.”

About the Authors

Johnathan Peña
Sports Editor
Johnathan “John” Pena is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in business administrations at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. John enjoys listening to an assorted genre of music, watching movies, playing video games and videoographing with his GoPro. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in advertising and media film.
Riana Tovar
Advertising Manager
Riana Tovar is a communications senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She received her Associate of Studio Arts from Lamar State College-Port Arthur in August 2022. She is a gymnastics coach in addition to being a full-time student. In her spare time, she enjoys working with the El Espejo magazine, taking pictures, and painting. Upon graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in sports marketing/digital media.
Glenn Whitfield
Glenn Whitfield is a communications junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He is currently an Esports coordinator for “NHL 24” and enjoys making YouTube videos. He is pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. After graduating, he hopes to be a part of local sports broadcasting programs on Kens 5 or KSAT and work his way up. He hopes to become a sports broadcaster on the NHL Network one day.

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