AT&T Center
AT&T Center
Location 1 AT&T Center Parkway, San Antonio, Texas 78219
Broke ground August 2000
Opened October 18, 2002
Owner Bexar County, Texas
Operator San Antonio Spurs
Construction cost $186 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Former names SBC Center (2002-2005)
Tenants San Antonio Spurs (National Basketball Association) (2002-present)
San Antonio Silver Stars (Women's National Basketball Association) (2003-present)
San Antonio Rampage (AHL) (2002-present)
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (2003-present)
Capacity Basketball: 18,797
Ice hockey: 13,400
Concert: 17,444 (maximum capacity)

The AT&T Center is an arena located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. It was completed in 2002 as the SBC Center at a cost of $175 million, financed by county-issued bonds which were supported by a hotel-occupancy and car rental tax increase and an additional contribution of $28.5 million from the Spurs. The arena is home to the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association and the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL in the winter-spring, the San Antonio Silver Stars of the Women's National Basketball Association in the summer, and the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo held in February. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, who holds the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, also hosts an Xtreme Bulls tour event annually (at around the same time as the Stock Show). It seats 18,797 for basketball, 13,000 for hockey and 19,000 for concerts or religious gatherings, and contains 50 luxury suites, and 32 bathrooms (16 Male and 16 Female). In addition to many local community and sporting events, the San Antonio Sports Car Association holds autocross competitions in the parking lot each month. On the weekend of August 1-2, 2009, the Professional Bull Riders also hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at this arena, after having held a BFTS event at the Alamodome in 2007 and 2008. SBC Communications, Inc. purchased the naming rights to the facility under a 20-year, $41 million naming rights agreement with Bexar County, the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in July 2000. SBC Communications changed its name to AT&T, Inc. in November 2005 after its purchase of AT&T Corporation. The arena officially changed its name to AT&T Center in January 2006.

History[edit | edit source]

AT&T Center at night.

AT&T Center inside.

Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome, a multi-purpose facility with a configuration that allowed half the floor space to be used for basketball. Although the Alamodome was still relatively new (opening in 1993), it had become clear over the years that the Spurs were using the dome for much of the year, making it difficult to schedule contiguous dates for conventions or even a regular-season football schedule. Although seating capacity in the Alamodome made the facility the largest in the NBA, the Spurs and fans were not satisfied with the facility because of its poor sight lines for basketball and the cavernous nature of the arena configuration. Being primarily a football stadium differentiated the Alamodome from most other NBA facilities, including the Spurs' previous home HemisFair Arena. The Spurs management always considered the Alamodome a temporary, not permanent, solution and had a new arena deal not been made, the team most certainly would have left the city.

Additionally, since the Alamodome opened there had been a plethora of new arena construction including facilities such as Conseco Fieldhouse, which, in addition to offering an intimate atmosphere, offered teams several new revenue generating opportunities, including suites located on the lower levels and large club level seating areas.

The Spurs campaigned for several years for a new facility. The Spurs and the city had come to an agreement to build a new facility adjacent to the Alamodome, but in a last-minute reversal, the team partnered with Bexar County to construct a new arena adjacent to the Freeman Coliseum. As a part of the agreement the facility would be home to the Spurs, a new hockey team, and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Association's annual, multi-day event (the latter requiring the Spurs to engage in an extended road trip every February).

The facility would be funded through an increase of hotel and car rental taxes, and Bexar County voters approved the plan in November 1999.

Construction[edit | edit source]

SBC Center logo (2002-2005).

After the arena referendum passed, planning quickly began for construction on the new facility. Naming rights were obtained in July 2000 when an agreement was reached with San Antonio-based SBC Communications to name the new arena the SBC Center. The agreement was reported to be for a total of $41 million over 20 years.

Ground was officially broken on the facility in August 2000. The arena's basic design was similar to many of the other newer arenas in the NBA, in no small part to the choice of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Ellerbe Becket as the primary architects. A nationally recognized, local architecture firm, Lake/Flato, was teamed with Ellerbe Becket to work on the design of the structure. Lake/Flato is responsible for introducing a South Texas vernacular to the overall look of the arena. Ellerbe Becket was responsible for Indiana's Conseco Fieldhouse design as well as Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center.

External links[edit | edit source]

Current arenas in the American Hockey League (as of 2016-17 season)
Eastern Conference Blue Cross Arena  · Dunkin' Donuts Center · Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena  · GIANT Center  · MassMutual Center  · Mile One Centre  · Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza  · Oncenter War Memorial Arena  · PPL Center  · Ricoh Coliseum  · Times Union Center  · Utica Memorial Auditorium  · Webster Bank Arena  · XL Center
Western Conference AT&T Center  · Allstate Arena  · BMO Harris Bank Center  · BMO Harris Bradley Center  · Cedar Park Center  · Citizens Business Bank Arena  · MTS Centre  · Quicken Loans Arena  · Rabobank Arena  · Time Warner Cable Arena  · Valley View Casino Center  · SAP Center at San Jose  · Stockton Arena  · Tucson Convention Center  · Van Andel Arena  · Wells Fargo Arena
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