Soccer player traded for hotel, travel accommodations
Walter Restrepo, formerly of the NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers, was traded to San Antonio in exchange for a block of hotel rooms when the Strikers visit Texas in 2014.
In one of the stranger sports transactions in recent memory, 25-year-old midfielder Walter Restrepo, formerly of the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers, was traded on Tuesday for some hotel and transportation accommodations.
Restrepo was traded from the Strikers to the San Antonio Scorpions in exchange for “free lodging and transportation during Fort Lauderdale’s two road trips to San Antonio in 2014.”
Here’s how it went down, via Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.
The Crockett Hotel, where NASL teams stay when visiting San Antonio, is a major sponsor of the Scorpions.
“The Scorpions reached out to us to see if we could be creative,” Bill Brendel, the hotel’s GM, said. The Crockett Hotel was even mentioned in the press release, which has since been taken down, according to Wahl.
San Antonio’s GM Howard Cornfield lamented the press release, saying the team should’ve probably just said “cash considerations,” instead of personally thanking the hotel and Shark Limo, which will provide transportation for Fort Lauderdale.
But Cornfield initially thanked his sponsors, claiming "It was only through their assistance that we were able to get this deal done."
Even stranger is that Restrepo, 25, is one the NASL’s best players. He has six goals and a league-leading eight assists and was named to the NASL’s Best XI in 2012.
This trade rivals hockey player Tom "Bussey" Martin's curious claim to fame. In 1983, Martin, then of the Western Hockey League's Seattle Breakers was traded to the Victoria Cougars in exchange for ... a bus. Yes, a bus.
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