The San Antonio Spurs Could Be Moving To A New Arena

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The San Antonio Spurs are in talks with the city to build a new venue, which could open downtown in 2032.
On this weekend in early March, the thermometer is already reading 80 degrees in downtown San Antonio. A gentle pace of life disturbed by the comings and goings of diggers and jackhammers. Hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has launched a number of projects to revitalize its downtown area.

Among these is the Institute of Texan Cultures, a museum owned by the University of Texas and located in the neighborhood of Hemisfair Park. It’s a building that could soon be bought and demolished in favor of a brand-new venue to welcome the San Antonio Spurs. This would be a return to their roots for the team coached by Gregg Popovich, who won their first title in 1999 at The Alamodome downtown before relocating to the Frost Bank Center (formerly the AT&T Center) on the east side of the city in 2002.

The Spurs are currently under contract at the Frost Bank Center, a venue leased from Bexar County in a deal that runs until 2032.

The problem? This enormous 19,000-seat complex is kind of in the middle of nowhere in a comparatively quiet district to the east of the city’s main hub. The trickle-down effect that was supposed to accompany its opening in 2002 never materialized, with fans preferring to go out for drinks and dinner elsewhere. “The question is what will become of this venue, which has never delivered on its promise to support positive development on the city’s east side,” local elected official Jalen McKee-Rodriguez recently worried.

The San Antonio Express-News, the local daily newspaper, was the first to reveal the existence of discussions for a new venue between Spurs management and the city, which dates back to January 2023. Negotiations have intensified since the arrival of Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, on whom rests the hopes of a return to sporting success and unprecedented economic development.

In San Antonio, residents are very enthusiastic about the construction of a new venue in Hemisfair. Beyond a return to their roots, the location has many advantages, with playgrounds for children, restaurants, hotels, and shops nearby. It remains to be seen whether they will be willing to pay, as the project is expected to be largely publicly funded.

This post is originally from L’Équipe