Solis, who graduated from Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, was named as the GM of Toyota Field earlier this year. Solis has had experience in running a number of different venues around Texas including cities like Laredo, Corpus Christi and of course, San Antonio. Toyota Field was not the first stadium opening for Solis.
“This is the third facility that I’ve opened up in the last dozen or so years,” said Solis. “The first was in Laredo; the Laredo Energy Arena. I was then in Corpus Christi and opened the American Bank Center in 2004 and then obviously now Toyota Field.”
The General Manager is in charge of almost every aspect of the stadium. They need to make sure the venue is clean, free of any obstructions and has safety procedures, all while coming up with new ways to give the fans a fun and unique experience.
“My ultimate job responsibility here is to ensure that any patron that steps foot in Toyota Field has a terrific experience,” Solis said. “That means that the facility is clean, that it’s easy to get in and out, that our emergency policy procedures are in place and that our staff is well versed in those procedures. Ultimately its to put on a professionally run facility that is free of any obstacles that would interfere with the fan having a terrific experience at Toyota Field.”
Toyota Field is fresh off of its grand opening that took place on April 13th. The Scorpions and Tampa Bay Rowdies squared off in front of a sold out crowd of 8,177. Of the three opening nights that Solis has been a part of, this one was truly special.
“Of all the opens that I have been a part of, this one was by far the smoothest. We had no major issues,” he said. “I think people were walking around in awe a bit at the intimacy of Toyota Field. It’s a huge difference from Heroes Stadium because it’s built for soccer. The furthest person at Toyota Field is only 55 feet from the playing surface, which is amazing. The stars were aligned just right and it was about as storybook as you could make it.”
The “storybook” opening set Toyota Field apart from the other openings in Solis’ career, but it certainly isn’t the only thing that contributed to its uniqueness. This is his first outdoor facility, which creates new obstacles and potential problems when trying to run a venue to perfection. Solis has to take into account much more than just the traditional stadium work.
“All of my other facilities have been indoor facilities,” he said. “This is the first outdoor facility that I have managed and it’s challenging with respect to the elements. Wind, rain, sun and elements blowing around all play a role in the havoc of maintaining a facility. It’s our job to make sure this place is pristine when people come in during a game day.”
Solis is enjoying his position and has high hopes for Toyota Field in the future. Just like the Scorpions, all of the venue’s net profits go to benefit the special needs community. Toyota Field is also home of the Monarch Academy Stingers and hosts tournaments for a multitude of different organizations.
“We want to continue to promote our cause,” he said. “Toyota Field is a non-profit, and all of our revenue streams go to impact the special needs communities and that’s very important to us.”
The stadium has plans to host other events aside from soccer including boxing matches and concerts. Solis believes that Toyota Field will become one of the best all-purpose venues in the near future, and thinks that the Scorpions fan base will expand.
“I hope that more people become Scorpions fans and become season ticket holders so we can continue to the next phase and one day have the 18,500 capacity. I want to make this a very well rounded facility from top to bottom.”