AT&T Center

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Not to be confused with AT&T Stadium in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex; AT&T Park in San Francisco; AT&T Field in Chattanooga, TN; or Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX.
AT&T Center
AT&T Center logo.jpg
AT&T Center
Former names SBC Center (2002–2005)
Location 1 AT&T Center Parkway
San Antonio, Texas 78219
Coordinates 29°25′37″N 98°26′15″W / 29.42694°N 98.43750°W / 29.42694; -98.43750Coordinates: 29°25′37″N 98°26′15″W / 29.42694°N 98.43750°W / 29.42694; -98.43750
Owner Bexar County
Operator Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Capacity Basketball: 18,581 (2009-present), 18,797 (2002-2009)
Ice Hockey: 16,000 (6,374 with curtain system)
Concert: 19,000 (maximum capacity)
Surface Multi-surface
Construction
Broke ground August 24, 2000
Opened October 18, 2002[4]
Construction cost $186 million
($244 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Ellerbe Becket[2]
Kell Muñoz Architects[3]
Lake Flato Architects[3]
Project manager Project Control[3]
Structural engineer Jaster-Quintanilla & Associates[3]
Services engineer Goetting/Curtis Neal[3]
General contractor Hunt/SpawGlass[2]
Tenants
San Antonio Spurs (NBA) (2002–present)
San Antonio Stars (WNBA) (2003–present)
San Antonio Rampage (AHL) (2002–present)
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (PRCA) (2003–present)

The AT&T Center is an indoor arena on the east side of San Antonio, Texas, USA. It seats 18,581 for basketball, 16,000 for ice hockey, and 19,000 for concerts or religious gatherings, and contains 2,018 club seats, 50 luxury suites and 32 bathrooms.

The arena was completed in 2002, as the SBC Center, at a cost of $186 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.[5] 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.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association holds the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and an Xtreme Bulls tour event annually there, around February. On the weekend of August 1–2, 2009, the Professional Bull Riders hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event there (an event previously held at the Alamodome in 2007 and 2008).

In addition to many local community and sporting events, the center hosts San Antonio Sports Car Association autocross competitions in the parking lot each month.

Alamodome[edit]

AT&T Center at night.
The Jessica Redfield Press Box.

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 it for most of the year, making it difficult to schedule contiguous dates for conventions or even a regular-season football schedule. The Alamodome's seating capacity could be expanded to 35,000 for popular regular-season opponents, and attracted nearly 40,000 for a 1999 NBA Finals game. Although it had been designed with the Spurs in mind, the Spurs and their fans grew increasingly dissatisfied with the facility because of its poor sight lines and cavernous feel. The Alamodome's basketball configuration had the basketball court at one end of where the football field would have been, leaving almost half of the stadium curtained off. Being primarily a football stadium differentiated the Alamodome from most other NBA facilities, including the Spurs' previous home, HemisFair Arena.

Additionally, since the Alamodome opened, there had been a plethora of new arena construction including facilities such as Conseco Fieldhouse (now Bankers Life 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.

New facility[edit]

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 ice hockey team (what became the Rampage), 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. Coincidentally, the election was held on the same day the Spurs received their NBA Championship rings for their first NBA championship.

Rick Pych is the Chief Development Officer of the AT&T Center and led the Spurs franchise through its development, construction and opening in 2002.

In 2012, the Rampage renamed the press box to the "Jessica Redfield Press Box" after Jessica Redfield, an aspiring news broadcaster and a former team intern who was killed in the Aurora theater shooting.[6] The arena has also hosted many WWE events including numerous episodes of Raw and SmackDown and the following pay-per views: Royal Rumble (2007),TLC (2009) and Vengeance (2011).

Construction[edit]

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, thanks 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 Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana) design as well as Verizon Center (Washington D.C.).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "AT&T Center (formerly SBC Center) San Antonio, Texas, USA". Ellerbe Becket. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "AT&T Center". Kell Muñoz Architects. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Bragg, Roy (October 19, 2002). "Arena Tips Off With Style". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on January 6, 2003. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ "About AT&T Center". AT&T Center. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ Rivers, Matt (October 13, 2012). "San Antonio Rampage Honor Colorado Theater Massacre Victim". KSAT (San Antonio). Retrieved December 23, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Alamodome
Home of the
San Antonio Spurs

2002 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
American Airlines Arena
Home of the
Royal Rumble

2007
Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden
Preceded by
Delta Center
(as Utah Starzz)
Home of the
San Antonio Stars

2003 – present
Succeeded by
current