SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs have tentative approval from the Bexar County Commissioners Court to play four home games away from the AT&T Center next season: two in Austin, one at the Alamodome, and one in Mexico.
The Spurs proposed to amend their non-relocation agreement for a limited number of games with the goal of building the brand in Austin and Mexico, with San Antonio as the center of the region. After some discussion, the Court countered with an offer of four games next season, and voted 3-2 to send the change to a final vote next month.
With the county owning the AT&T Center, the team cannot unilaterally play these proposed games away from the county and must seek permission to do so. Relocating from the arena before the 2031-'32 season would incur a steep financial penalty.
If the proposal gets final approval, the Spurs will play at the new Moody Center at UT Austin and probably Mexico City. Fans in San Antonio will likely get a nostalgia-filled evening at the Alamodome, where the team played from 1993 to 2002 in front of crowds as big as 40,000 people.
The stated goal of the plan is to expand the Spurs' footprint, and bring the brand to new fanbases that surround San Antonio; from Austin to Comfort, Monterrey and Mexico City. The team also hopes that new fans will come to San Antonio for games, and the plan will help attract more corporate partnerships.
“From day one, we’ve received amazing support from Spurs fans in San Antonio and across South and Central Texas. We are committed to finding new, creative ways to purposefully engage and celebrate our fans from Mexico to Austin, continuing to expand our regional fanbase," Spurs CEO RC Buford said in a statement. "We believe San Antonio is uniquely positioned from a cultural, geographic and economic standpoint to serve as the anchor for this region."
It's important to note the Spurs-Austin connection has been well-established for years, and this is nothing out of the ordinary for the Spurs to try to expand their footprint up I-35.
Texas' capital is home to the team's G-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, which plays a game in San Antonio during the season. Additionally, the Spurs have established ride-shares for fans in Austin to come to San Antonio for home games.
Also, the Spurs have invested in Austin-based mobile gaming company Tribe Gaming, and, prior to the pandemic, the team set up an option for helicopter rides from Austin to San Antonio for home games. Austin billionaire Michael Dell joined the team recently as an investor and strategic partner, as did Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.
"San Antonio has been home for five decades and the organization will continue to innovate, positioning the Spurs to thrive in San Antonio for the next 50 years," Buford said.
The organization recently broke ground on a huge multipurpose facility in San Antonio.
Some fans, however, are worried that a decision like this could mean the eventual end of the Spurs' time in San Antonio.