San Antonio

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This article is about the city in the U.S. state of Texas. For the metropolitan area, see Greater San Antonio. For other uses, see San Antonio (disambiguation).
San Antonio
City
City of San Antonio
Skyline of San Antonio and the Tower of the Americas
Skyline of San Antonio and the Tower of the Americas
Flag of San Antonio
Flag
Official seal of San Antonio
Seal
Nickname(s): S.A., River City, San Antone,
Alamo City, Military City USA, Countdown City
Location in Bexar County in the state of Texas
Location in Bexar County in the state of Texas
Map of Texas
Map of Texas
San Antonio
Location in Texas
Coordinates: 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29.417°N 98.500°W / 29.417; -98.500
Country  United States of America
State  Texas
Counties Bexar, Medina, Comal
Foundation May 1, 1718[2]
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Body San Antonio City Council
 • Mayor Ivy Taylor
 • City Manager Sheryl Sculley
 • City Council
Area
 • City 465.4 sq mi (1,205.4 km2)
 • Land 460.93[3] sq mi (1,193.7 km2)
 • Water 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
Elevation 650 ft (198 m)
Population (2012)
 • City 1,409,019 [1]
 • Density 3,000.35/sq mi (1,147.3/km2)
 • Metro 2,277,550 (25th)
 • Demonym San Antonian
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
Area code(s) 210 (majority), 830 (portions)
Website www.SanAntonio.gov

San Antonio (/ˌsænænˈtni./ Spanish for "Saint Anthony"), officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populous city in the United States of America and the second most populous city in the state of Texas, with a population of 1,409,019.[1] It was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000.[4][5] The city is located in the American Southwest, the south–central part of Texas, and the southwestern corner of an urban region known as the Texas Triangle.

San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. The city has characteristics of other western urban centers in which there are sparsely populated areas and a low density rate outside of the city limits. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area has a population of over 2.27 million based on the 2013 U.S. Census estimate, making it the 25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.

San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, by a 1691 Spanish expedition in the area. It is notable for Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, and the city is visited by approximately 26 million tourists per year, according to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.

The US armed forces have numerous facilities here: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base (which constitute Joint Base San Antonio), and Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley located outside the city. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining portions of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park. San Antonio is home to five Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.

History[edit]

Lithograph of San Antonio in 1886

At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area, calling the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters". In 1691, a group of Spanish Catholic explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. They named the place and river "San Antonio" in his honor.[6]

It was years before any Spanish settlement took place. Father Antonio de Olivares visited the site in 1709, and he determined to found a mission and civilian settlement there. The viceroy gave formal approval for a combined mission and presidio in late 1716, as he wanted to forestall any French expansion into the area from their colony of La Louisiane, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed Martin de Alarcón, the governor of Coahuila and Texas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, and construction did not start until 1718.[7] Fray Antonio de Olivares built, with the help of the Payaya Indians, the Misión de San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, the bridge that connected both, and the Acequia Madre de Valero.[2]

The families who clustered around the presidio and mission formed the beginnings of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas.[8] On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later famous as the Alamo) to Fray Antonio de Olivares.[2] On May 5, 1718 he commissioned the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar ("Béjar" in modern Spanish orthography) on the west side of the San Antonio River, one-fourth league from the mission.[7]

On February 14, 1719, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo proposed to the king of Spain that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas. His plan was approved, and notice was given the Canary Islanders (isleños) to furnish 200 families; the Council of the Indies suggested that 400 families should be sent from the Canaries to Texas by way of Havana and Veracruz. By June 1730, 25 families had reached Cuba, and 10 families had been sent to Veracruz before orders from Spain came to stop the re-settlement.[9]

Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, where they arrived on March 9, 1731. Due to marriages along the way, the party now included 15 families, a total of 56 persons. They joined the military community established in 1718. The immigrants formed the nucleus of the villa of San Fernando de Béxar, the first regularly organized civil government in Texas. Several older families of San Antonio trace their descent from the Canary Island colonists. María Rosa Padrón was the first baby born of Canary Islander descent in San Antonio.[9]

During the Spanish Mexican settlement of Southwestern lands, which took place over the following century, Juan Leal Goraz Jr. was a prominent figure. He claimed nearly 100,000 sq miles (153,766 acres) as Spanish territory and held some control for nearly three decades: this area stretched across six present-day states. San Antonio was designated as Leal Goraz's capital. It represented Mexican expansion into the area. With his robust military forces, he led exploration and establishing Spanish colonial bases as far as San Francisco, California. Widespread bankruptcy forced Leal Goraz Jr.'s army back into the current boundaries of Mexico; they fell into internal conflict and turmoil with neighboring entities.

Memorial to the Alamo defenders

San Antonio grew to become the largest Spanish settlement in Texas; it was designated as the capital of the Spanish, later Mexican, province of Tejas. From San Antonio, the Camino Real (today Nacogdoches Road), was built to the small frontier town of Nacogdoches. Mexico allowed European-American settlers from the United States into the territory; they mostly occupied land in the eastern part. When Antonio López de Santa Anna unilaterally abolished the Mexican Constitution of 1824, violence ensued in many states of Mexico.[10]

In a series of battles, the Texian Army succeeded in forcing Mexican soldiers out of the settlement areas east of San Antonio, which were dominated by Americans. Under the leadership of Ben Milam, in the Battle of Bexar, December, 1835, Texian forces captured San Antonio from forces commanded by General Martin Perfecto de Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-law. In the spring of 1836, Santa Anna marched on San Antonio. A volunteer force under the command of James C. Neill occupied and fortified the deserted mission.[11]

Upon his departure, the joint command of William Barrett Travis and James Bowie were left in charge of defending the old mission. The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23 to March 6, 1836. The outnumbered Texian force was ultimately defeated, with all of the Alamo defenders killed. These men were seen as "martyrs" for the cause of Texas freedom and "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry in the Texian Army's eventual success at defeating Santa Anna's army.[11]

Juan Seguín, who organized the company of Tejano patriots, who fought for Texas independence, fought at the Battle of Concepcion, Siege of Bexar, and the Battle of San Jacinto, and served as mayor of San Antonio. He was forced out of that office, due to threats on his life, by sectarian newcomers and political opponents in 1842, becoming the last Tejano mayor for nearly 150 years.[12]

An aerial view of San Antonio in 1939

In 1845, the United States finally decided to annex Texas and include it as a state in the Union. This led to the Mexican-American War. Though the U.S. ultimately won, the war was devastating to San Antonio. By its end, the population of the city had been reduced by almost two-thirds, to 800 inhabitants.[13] Bolstered by migrants and immigrants, by 1860 at the start of the Civil War, San Antonio had grown to a city of 15,000 people.

Post-Civil War to present[edit]

Downtown San Antonio as it appears today

Following the Civil War, San Antonio prospered as a center of the cattle industry. During this period, it remained a frontier city, with a mixture of cultures that was different from other US cities. In the 1850s Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect who designed Central Park in New York City, traveled throughout the South and Southwest, and published accounts of his observations. In his 1859 book about Texas, Olmsted described San Antonio as having a "jumble of races, costumes, languages, and buildings," which gave it a quality that only New Orleans could rival in what he described as "odd and antiquated foreignness."[14][15]

In 1877, following the Reconstruction era, developers constructed the first railroad to San Antonio, connecting it to major markets and port cities. Texas was the first state to have major cities develop by railroads rather than waterways. In Texas, the railroads supported a markedly different pattern of development of major interior cities, such as San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, compared to the historical development of coastal port cities in the established eastern states.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the streets of the city's downtown were widened to accommodate street cars and modern traffic. At that time, many of the older historic buildings were demolished in the process of this modernization.[16]

Since the late twentieth century, San Antonio has had steady population growth. The city's population has nearly doubled in 35 years, from just over 650,000 in the 1970 census to an estimated 1.2 million in 2005, through both population growth and land annexation (the latter has considerably enlarged the physical area of the city).[citation needed] In 1990, the Census Bureau reported San Antonio's population as 55.6% Hispanic, 7% black, and 36.2% non-Hispanic white.[17]

Geography[edit]

San Antonio
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.8
 
62
39
 
 
1.8
 
67
42
 
 
2.3
 
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50
 
 
2.1
 
80
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4
 
86
66
 
 
4.1
 
91
72
 
 
2.7
 
95
74
 
 
2.1
 
95
74
 
 
3
 
90
69
 
 
4.1
 
82
59
 
 
2.3
 
71
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1.9
 
64
41
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NOAA

San Antonio is located near 29.5°N 98.5°W. It is about 75 miles to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital. The city is also about 190 miles west of Houston and about 250 miles south of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2000 the city had a total area of 412.07 square miles (1,067.3 km2)—407.56 square miles (1,055.6 km2) (98.9%) of land and 4.51 square miles (11.7 km2) (1.1%) of water. The city sits on the Balcones Escarpment. The altitude of San Antonio is 772 feet (235 m) above sea level.

The primary source of drinking water for the city is the Edwards Aquifer. Impounded in 1962 and 1969, respectively, Victor Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake were among the first reservoirs in the country built to use recycled treated wastewater for power plant cooling, reducing the amount of groundwater needed for electrical generation.

Neighborhoods[edit]

Climate and vegetation[edit]

San Antonio has a transitional humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa).[18][19][20] The weather is hot in the summer, comfortably warm or mild winters subject to descending northern cold fronts in the winter with cool to cold nights, and warm and rainy in the spring and fall.

San Antonio receives about a dozen subfreezing nights each year, typically seeing some sort of wintry precipitation approximately once every 2-3 winters (i.e. sleet/freezing rain), but accumulation and snow itself are very uncommon. Winters may pass without any freezing precipitation at all, and up to a decade has passed between snowfalls in the past. According to the National Weather Service, there have been 31 instances of snowfall (a trace or more) in the city in the past 122 years, for an average of about once every four years. Snow was most recently seen on February 4, 2011 when a half an inch of snow coated the city.[21] In 1985, the city received a record snowfall of 16 inches (41 cm).[22]

San Antonio and New Braunfels, forty miles to the northeast, are some of the most flood-prone regions in North America.[23] The October 1998 Central Texas floods were one of the costliest floods in United States history, resulting in $750 million in damage and 32 deaths. In 2002, from June 30 to July 7, 35 inches of rain fell in the San Antonio area, resulting in widespread flooding and 12 fatalities.[24]

Instances of tornadoes within the city limits have been reported as recently as October 2011, although they seldom occur.[25] An F2 tornado will land within 50 miles of the city on average once every five years. San Antonio has experienced two F4 tornadoes, one in 1953 and another in 1973. The 1953 tornado resulted in two deaths and 15 injuries.[26]

In San Antonio, July and August tie for the average warmest months, with an average high of 95 °F (35 °C). The highest temperature ever to be recorded was 111 °F (44 °C) on September 5, 2000.[21] The average coolest month is January. The lowest recorded temperature ever was 0 °F (−18 °C) on January 31, 1949.[21] May, June, and October have quite a bit of precipitation. Since recording began in 1871, the average annual precipitation has been 29.03 inches (737 mm), with a maximum of 52.28 inches (1,328 mm) and a minimum of 10.11 inches (256.8 mm) in one year.[27]

Natural vegetation in the San Antonio area (where undisturbed by development) includes oak-cedar woodland, oak grassland savanna, chaparral brush and riparian (stream) woodland. The San Antonio area is at the westernmost limit for Cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto).

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,488
1860 8,235 136.1%
1870 12,256 48.8%
1880 20,550 67.7%
1890 37,673 83.3%
1900 53,321 41.5%
1910 96,614 81.2%
1920 161,379 67.0%
1930 231,542 43.5%
1940 253,854 9.6%
1950 408,442 60.9%
1960 587,718 43.9%
1970 654,153 11.3%
1980 785,940 20.1%
1990 935,933 19.1%
2000 1,144,646 22.3%
2010 1,327,407 16.0%
Est. 2013 1,409,019 [32] 6.1%
historical data sources:[33]

2010[edit]

According to the 2010 Census, 1,327,407 people resided in the city proper of San Antonio, an increase of 16.0% since 2000.

The racial composition of the city based on the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau is as follows:[34]

In addition, 63.2% of the city's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.

2000[edit]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the city proper had a population of 1,144,646,[35] ranking it the ninth-most populated city in the country. Due to San Antonio's low density rate and lack of significant metropolitan population outside the city limits, the metropolitan area ranked just 30th in the U.S. with a population of 1,592,383.[36]

Subsequent population counts, however, indicate continued rapid growth in the area. As stated above, the 2010 U.S. Census showed the city's population at 1,327,407,[37] making it the second most-populous city in Texas (after only Houston), as well as the seventh most-populous city in the United States. The 2011 U.S. Census estimate for the eight-county San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan area placed its population at 2,194,927[38] making it the third-most populous metro area in Texas (after Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Houston Metropolitan Area) and the 24th-most populous metro area in the U.S. The metropolitan area is bordered to the northeast by Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos, and the two metropolitan areas together combine to form a region of over 4.1 million people.

About 405,474 households, and 280,993 families reside in San Antonio. The population density is 2,808.5 people per square mile (1,084.4 km2). There are 433,122 housing units at an average density of 1,062.7 per square mile (410.3 km2).

The age of the city's population distributed as 28.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. In San Antonio, 48% of the population are males, and 52% of the population are females. For every 100 females, there are 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $36,214, and the median income for a family is $53,100. Males have a median income of $30,061 versus $24,444 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,487. About 17.3% of the population and 14.0% of families are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 24.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Source:[39]

Economy[edit]

Source:: Fortune[40]

Fortune 500 Companies
in San Antonio, 2013

with San Antonio and U.S. ranks.
SAT Corporation US
1 Valero Energy Corp. 9
2 Tesoro Corporation 95
3 USAA 139
4 CST Brands, Inc. 220
5 NuStar Energy 389
6 Clear Channel 407
Headquarters of Valero Energy Corporation

San Antonio has a diversified economy with an approximately $96.8 billion metropolitan GDP, ranking 4th among Texas metropolitan areas and 38th in the United States.[41] San Antonio's economy is focused primarily within military, health care, government civil service, financial services, oil and gas and tourism sectors. Within the past twenty years, San Antonio has become a significant location for American-based call centers and has added a significant manufacturing sector centered around automobiles.

Located about 10 miles northwest of Downtown is the South Texas Medical Center, which is a conglomerate of various hospitals, clinics, and research (see Southwest Research Institute) and higher educational institutions. The city is also home to one of the largest military concentrations in the United States. The defense industry in San Antonio employs over 89,000 and provides a $5.25 billion impact to the city's economy.[42]

Over twenty million tourists visit the city and its attractions every year, contributing substantially to the city's economy, primarily due to The Alamo and Riverwalk.[43] The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center alone hosts more than 300 events each year with over 750,000 convention delegates from around the world. Tourism employs 94,000 citizens and makes an economic impact of over $10.7 billion in the local economy as revealed in the Economic Impact Study conducted every two years by the San Antonio Tourism Council and the research team of Dr. Richard Butler and Dr. Mary Stefl of Trinity University. Tourism also brings new annual revenues to the City of San Antonio and other governmental entities with the hotel & motel tax, sales taxes and other revenues from hospitality agreements and contracts. This number exceeded over $300 million in 2012date=March 2014.

San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies: Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro Corp, USAA, Clear Channel Communications, NuStar Energy and CST Brands, Inc..[44] H-E-B, the 14th largest private company in the United States[45] is also headquartered in San Antonio. Other companies headquartered in San Antonio include: Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Carenet Healthcare Services, Eye Care Centers of America, Frost Bank, Harte-Hanks, Kinetic Concepts, NewTek, Rackspace, Taco Cabana and Whataburger.

Other large companies that operate regional headquarters in the city include: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Kohl's, Allstate, Chase Bank, Philips, Wells Fargo, Toyota, Medtronic, Sysco, Caterpillar Inc., AT&T, West Corporation, Citigroup, Boeing, QVC, and Lockheed Martin.

San Antonio has lost several major company headquarters, the largest being the 2008 move of AT&T Inc. to Dallas "to better serve customers and expand business in the future".[46] In 1997 Titan Holdings and USLD Communications had sold their operations to larger companies. After a Los Angeles buyout specialist purchased Builders Square, the company's operations were moved out of San Antonio.[47]

In 2013, San Antonio ranked No. 11 on Forbes' list of the Best Places for Business and Careers, boasting a ranking of 9th best market for job growth.[48]

Culture[edit]

Further information: Culture of San Antonio

Attractions[edit]

Cathedral of San Fernando in San Antonio, Texas at sunset
Downtown San Antonio from the Tower of the Americas

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination.

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio ("the Alamo"), located Downtown, is Texas' top tourist attraction. Because of the mission, San Antonio is often called the "Alamo City."[citation needed]

The River Walk, meanders through the Downtown area, is the city's second most visited attraction.[citation needed] It was one of the first restorations of an urban river.[citation needed] Lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as the Arneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, and is suffused with the local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio. Also based along the River Walk is the newly restored Aztec On The River, the only surviving exotic-themed movie palace in Texas.[citation needed]

The Downtown Area also features Cathedral of San Fernando, The Majestic Theatre, HemisFair Park (home of the Tower of the Americas, and UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures), La Villita, El Mercado, the Spanish Governor's Palace, and the historic Menger Hotel. On the northern side of the Alamo complex, beside the Emily Morgan Hotel, is the San Antonio Cavalry Museum, which features cavalry artifacts and exhibits and is frequented by local re-enactors.[citation needed]

The Fairmount Hotel, built in 1906 and San Antonio's second oldest hotel, is in the Guinness World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact. It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo, over four days in 1985, and cost $650,000 to move.

SeaWorld, located 16 miles (26 km) west of Downtown in the city's Westover Hills district, is the number 3 attraction. Also, there is the very popular Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Other popular theme parks in San Antonion include Splashtown and Morgan's Wonderland, a theme park for children who have special needs.[citation needed]

San Antonio is home to the first museum of modern art in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Other art institutions and museums include ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, the Buckhorn Museum, the Museo Alameda, the San Antonio Museum of Art, The Southwest School of Art, the Texas Rangers Museum, the Texas Transportation Museum, and the Witte Museum. Visitors can also experience something of the cowboy culture year round,[citation needed] and they can see the 40-foot (12 m) tall cowboy boots at North Star Mall.

Other places of interest include Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the San Antonio Zoo, and The Woodlawn Theatre.

Photo gallery[edit]

Cuisine[edit]

San Antonio has claims on being the birthplace of the spicy stew known as chili. It was introduced to the nation when the city sent a "San Antonio Chili stand" to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; San Antonio chili is still widely available. San Antonio is also the home of the Frito, Cheetos, and David Pace's Pace picante sauce.[citation needed]

Beyond taking in the sights and sounds of San Antonio, tourists can sample some of its world famous Tex-Mex cuisine at the many fine restaurants located throughout the city. Mexican restaurants are abundant in virtually the entire city, and most are relatively inexpensive. Some outstanding examples of Tex-Mex eateries include Jacala, on West Avenue on the inner Northwest Side, La Hacienda de Los Barrios, on the Northeast Side, Los Barrios, on the near North Side of town, Paloma Blanca, near Alamo Heights, and Tommy's, a chain with three locations in San Antonio (the first one located on Nogalitos at I-35 near Downtown).[citation needed]

Digital library[edit]

In the fall of 2013, Bexar County opened BiblioTech - Bexar County's Digital Library, the nation's first bookless library. It serves the city of San Antonio and Bexar County.[49]

Sports[edit]

Main article: Sports in San Antonio
Club League Founded Venue (capacity) Attendance Titles Championship years
UTSA Roadrunners Division I (NCAA) football 2011 Alamodome (65,000) 35,521 0
San Antonio Spurs National Basketball Association 1967 AT&T Center (18,580) 18,431 5 1999, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2013–14
San Antonio Stars WNBA 1997 AT&T Center (18,580) 7,850 0
San Antonio Talons Arena Football League 2000 Alamodome (65,000) 7,715 2 2003, 2007
San Antonio Scorpions North American Soccer League 2010 Toyota Field (8,300) 7,074 0
San Antonio Rampage American Hockey League 2002 AT&T Center (16,000) 6,505 0

The city's only top-level professional sports team, and consequently the team most San Antonians follow, is the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome, which was built for football, and before that the HemisFair Arena, but the Spurs built—with public money—and moved into the SBC Center in 2002, since renamed the AT&T Center.

The AT&T Center is also home to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League and the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA, both owned by the Spurs organization. San Antonio is home to the Double-A San Antonio Missions who play at Nelson Wolff Stadium and are the minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

The city got its first professional soccer team, the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League, in 2010. They began playing in 2012 initially in Heroes Stadium pending the completion of a soccer-specific Toyota Field in the STAR Soccer Complex.

The University of Texas at San Antonio fields San Antonio's only NCAA Division I athletic teams, known as the UTSA Roadrunners. The University added football in 2011, hiring former University of Miami coach Larry Coker as its initial head coach. Roadrunner football began play in 2011, with a record of 4-6. UTSA set attendance records for both highest attendance at an inaugural game (56,743) and highest average attendance for a first year program (35,521).[citation needed] The Roadrunners will move to the Western Athletic Conference in 2012, making the jump to Division 1 status faster than any program in history.[citation needed]

San Antonio hosts the NCAA football Alamo Bowl each December, played among the Big XII and Pac-12 each December in the Alamodome. The city is also home of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl,[50] played annually in the Alamodome and televised live on NBC. The Bowl is an East versus West showdown featuring the nation's top 90 high school senior football players. The game has featured NFL stars Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and many other college and NFL stars.

San Antonio has two rugby union teams, the Alamo City Rugby Football Club, and San Antonio Rugby Football Club. The city is also home to the University of Texas at San Antonio, which fields the only collegiate men's rugby team in the city. UTSA competes in Division III Texas Rugby Union.

The San Antonio metropolitan area's smaller population has so far contributed to its lack of an NFL, MLB, NHL, or MLS team. City officials are said to be attempting to lure the National Football League permanently to San Antonio. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stated San Antonio was successful in hosting the New Orleans Saints, and that the city would be on the short list for any future NFL expansions.[citation needed] The city has also hosted the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers preseason camps in the past, and the Cowboys practiced in San Antonio through 2011.[51] Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged his support for the city to become home to an NFL franchise.[52]

World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Shawn Michaels was raised in San Antonio, and San Antonio is billed as his hometown during his ring entrance.

Government[edit]

Further information: List of mayors of San Antonio
City Hall, San Antonio, Texas (postcard, circa 1906)

The City of San Antonio runs under a Council-Manager form of government. The city is divided into 10 council districts designed to ensure equal population distribution between all districts. Each district elects one person to sit on the City Council with the mayor elected on a city-wide basis. All members of the City Council, which includes the mayor, are elected to two-year terms and are limited to four terms in total (except for those who were in office in November, 2008 and are limited to a total of two terms). Houston and Laredo have similar term limits to those in San Antonio. All positions are elected on non-partisan ballots as required by Texas law. Council members are paid $20 per meeting, while the Mayor earns $4,000 a year. Most council members maintain full-time employment in addition to their positions on the council.[53] The current mayor is Ivy R. Taylor who was selected by the City Council after Julian Castro resigned to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She is the first African American female to hold the office.[54]

The council hires the City Manager to handle day-to-day operations. The council effectively functions as the city's legislative body with the City Manager acting as its Chief Executive, responsible for the management of day-to-day operations and execution of council legislation. The current City Manager is Sheryl Sculley.

The city operates its own electric and gas utility service, CPS Energy.

The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) is the city's municipal body of law enforcement.

The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) provides the city with fire protection and EMS service.

The city stretches into several national congressional districts and is represented in Congress by the following:[55]

Growth policy[edit]

Unlike most large cities in the U.S., San Antonio is not completely surrounded by independent suburban cities, and under Texas state law[56] it exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) over much of the surrounding unincorporated land,[57] including planning major thoroughfares and enforcing rules for platting and subdivision. It pursues an aggressive annexation policy and opposes the creation of other municipalities within its ETJ.[58] Nearly three-fourths of its current land area has been annexed since 1960.[49]

In the 2000s the city has annexed several long narrow corridors along major thoroughfares in outlying areas to facilitate eventual annexation of growth developing along the routes. The city planned to annex nearly forty additional square miles by 2009.[59] In May 2010, the City of San Antonio agreed to release thousands of acres of land in its extraterritorial jurisdiction along Interstate 10 to Schertz. The agreement releases a total of 3,486 acres (14.11 km2) of San Antonio's ETJ lands north of I-10 to Schertz. The ETJ lands are in an area bordered by FM 1518 to the west, Lower Seguin Road to the north, Cibolo Creek to the east and I-10 to the south. [60]

Involuntary annexation is a controversial issue in those parts of unincorporated Bexar County affected by it. Residents, attracted to the outlying areas by lower taxes and affordable real estate values, often see annexation as a mechanism to increase property tax rates (which are primarily driven by school district taxes, not city taxes) without a corresponding improvement in services such as police and fire protection, while the city regards its annexation policy as essential to its overall prosperity.[61]

Also, since the City has annexed a large amount of land over time, San Antonio surrounds several independent enclave cities which include Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park, Hollywood Park, Hill Country Village, Castle Hills, Windcrest, Kirby, Balcones Heights, and Shavano Park. These neighborhoods are not districts of the City of San Antonio like Lincoln Heights and Brackenridge Park, but rather they are independent cities throughout the San Antonio region completely surrounded, but not directly controlled, by the City of San Antonio.

San Antonio Main Post Office

State and federal representation[edit]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Parole Division Region IV headquarters in the San Antonio Metro Parole Complex. San Antonio district parole offices I and III are in the parole complex, while office II is in another location.[62]

The Texas Department of Transportation operates the San Antonio District Office in San Antonio.[63]

The United States Postal Service operates the San Antonio Main Post Office.[64] Other post offices are located throughout San Antonio.

Education[edit]

San Antonio hosts over 100,000 students in its 31 higher-education institutions. Publicly supported schools include the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, and the Alamo Community College District. The University of Texas at San Antonio is San Antonio's largest university.

Private universities include top-rated Trinity University, St. Mary's University, Our Lady of the Lake University, University of the Incarnate Word, Wayland Baptist University - San Antonio, Baptist University of the Américas, and the Southwest School of Art which brought in its first BFA class in 2014. The San Antonio Public Library serves all of these institutions along with the 19 independent school districts within the Bexar County/ San Antonio metropolitan area.[65]

The city is also home to more than 30 private schools and charter schools. These schools include: Central Catholic Marianist High School, Incarnate Word High School, Saint Mary's Hall, The Atonement Academy, Antonian College Preparatory High School, San Antonio Academy, Holy Cross High School, Providence High School, The Carver Academy, Keystone School, TMI — The Episcopal School of Texas, St. Anthony Catholic High School, Lutheran High School of San Antonio, and Harmony Science Academy.

San Antonio is also home to U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). The Air Force only has one location for enlisted basic training: the 737th Training Group, at Lackland Air Force Base. All new Air Force recruits go through the same basic training at Lackland. Each year, over 35,000 new recruits go through AFBMT. In addition, METC (Military Education and Training Campus), which provides the medical training for the U.S. military at Fort Sam Houston, hosts 30 programs and over 24,000 annual graduates. It is the largest medical education center in the world.

Media and entertainment[edit]

Print[edit]

San Antonio has one major newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News, which has served the area since 1865. The Express-News currently circulates as the largest newspaper service in South Texas. The Hearst Corporation, which owned a second newspaper, the San Antonio Light, purchased the Express-News from News Corp. in 1992 and shut down the Light after failing to find a buyer.

Hearst, using the Express-News brand, also produces Conexion, a weekly magazine written by an entirely Hispanic staff with a Hispanic spin on weekly events. The San Antonio Current is the free "alternative" paper published weekly with local political issues, art and music news, restaurant listings and reviews, and listings of events and nightlife around town. In addition, the San Antonio Business Journal covers general business news. La Prensa, a bilingual publication, also has a long history in San Antonio. The San Antonio River Walk Current covers general San Antonio news.

Radio[edit]

See also: Broadcast media in San Antonio

FM: 28 AM: 20

About 50 radio stations can be heard in the San Antonio area — 30 of them are actually located in the city proper. San Antonio is home to Clear Channel Communications, the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S. Its flagship, WOAI AM-1200, is known for its local news operation, considered among the best in the country. It is a 50,000-watt clear channel station that reaches most of North America at night. The first radio station to broadcast in South Texas was KTSA AM-550 in 1922. Some of KTSA AM-550's better known local talk show hosts include Jack Riccardi, Trey Ware and Ricci Ware.

The region's National Public Radio member is Texas Public Radio, a group of three stations; KSTX 89.1 FM is NPR news/talk, KPAC 88.3 is a 24-hour classical music station, and KTXI 90.1 is a mix of NPR news/talk and classical music broadcast for the West Central Texas Hill Country. KSTX also broadcasts "Riverwalk Jazz", featuring Jim Cullum Jazz Band at The Landing, a fixture on the River Walk since 1963.

KRTU 91.7 is a non-commercial radio station based out of Trinity University. Unlike other college radio stations throughout the U.S. the station plays jazz 17 hours a day and college rock/indie rock at night. College Alternative station KSYM, 90.1 FM, is owned by the Alamo Community College District and operated by San Antonio College students and like KRTU it plays the Third Coast music network during the day and alternative music at night.

Most Latin stations in the area play regional Mexican, Tejano or contemporary pop. On January 12, 2006, Univision-owned KCOR-FM "La Kalle 95.1" changed its format from Hispanic-Rhythmic Contemporary Hits to Spanish Oldies, then named "Recuerdo 95.1". However, Univision announced on November 10, 2006, that it flipped KLTO Tejano 97.7's format to Reggaeton in an attempt to reintroduce the format to San Antonio again. Then, 97.7 was flipped again to feature a rock format. The station no longer broadcasts anything in English and while still owned by Univision, it had broadcast music from artists such as Linkin Park, before selling the station to the Educational Media Foundation and flipping it once again to Air1.

95.1 was then flipped back to the "La Kalle" format again after being flipped more than a year ago to feature a "95X" format. KLTO was acquired earlier in the year and operated as a simulcast of KXTN Tejano 107.5. San Antonio has quickly diversified in recent years, with the influx of non-Tejano Latinos, mostly from the East Coast, who are serving in the city's various military bases, as well as immigrants from Mexico. Therefore, just like in the rest of the country, radio station conglomerates have been changing formats in San Antonio to reflect shifting demographics.

Television[edit]

WOAI-TV is San Antonio's NBC affiliate

Despite the relatively large size of both the city proper and the metropolitan area, San Antonio has always been a medium-sized market. It presently only ranks 36th in the United States, according to marketing research firm ACNielsen.[66] By comparison, the other two Texas cities with populations of over a million people, Houston and Dallas, are among the 10 largest markets. This is mainly because the nearby suburban and rural areas are not much larger than the city itself. Additionally, the close proximity of Austin truncates the potential market area.

San Antonio-based TV stations are WOAI channel 4 (NBC), KSAT channel 12 (ABC), KENS channel 5 (CBS), KABB channel 29 (Fox Broadcasting Company), KCWX channel 2 (myNetworkTV), KMYS channel 35 (The CW) and KLRN channel 9 (PBS). The market is also home to six Spanish-language stations, three religious stations, three independent stations and one Internet-based station (210 TV). The San Antonio market has 65% cable TV penetration.

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

The San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is located in Uptown San Antonio, approximately eight miles north of Downtown. San Antonio International is the 6th busiest airport based on passenger boardings in Texas. It has two terminals and is served by 21 airlines serving 44 destinations including six in Mexico. Stinson Municipal Airport is a reliever airport located six miles (10 km) south of Downtown San Antonio. The airport has two runways and it is also home to the Texas Air Museum.

Mass transit[edit]

Further information: VIA Metropolitan Transit
A VIA bus stopped at a Downtown San Antonio intersection

A bus and rubber tired streetcar (bus) system is provided by the city's metropolitan transit authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit. VIA's full fare monthly unlimited Big Pass is $35 per month. VIA began operating a Bus Rapid Transit line known as VIA Primo[67] in December 2012, which connects Downtown San Antonio to the South Texas Medical Center, the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the independent enclave city of Leon Valley.

In August 2010, VIA Metropolitan Transit unveiled the next set of buses that are powered by diesel-electric hybrid technology.[68] The 30 hybrid buses are being put into service on VIA's express routes to serve daily commuters across the city. This set of buses follows the introduction of new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, which were unveiled in May 2010. In the fall of 2010, VIA will begin taking delivery of three new buses that will be powered by electricity from on-board batteries. These buses will serve the Downtown core area, and they will be the first revenue vehicles VIA operates that have zero emissions.[68]

VIA offers 89 regular bus routes and two Downtown streetcar routes. This includes express service from Downtown to park and ride locations in the South, West, Northwest, North Central and Northeast Sides of the city with service to major locations such as UTSA, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld. VIA also offers a special service to city events including Spurs games and city parades from its park and ride locations. VIA has, among its many routes, one of the longest local transit routes in America. Routes 550 (Clockwise) and 551 (Counterclockwise) travel 48 miles (77 km) one way as it loops around the city.[69]

Rail[edit]

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides service to San Antonio at San Antonio Amtrak Station, operating its Texas Eagle daily between San Antonio and Chicago's Union Station.[70] Amtrak also operates its Sunset Limited three times a week in each direction through San Antonio between Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida (currently truncated to New Orleans due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina).[71]

The Texas Eagle section travels between San Antonio and Los Angeles as part of the Sunset Limited. The old Sunset Station is now an entertainment venue owned by VIA and neighbored by the current station and the Alamodome.[72]

Freight service from San Antonio to Corpus Christi is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad. The predecessor route, including passenger service, from 1913 to 1956 was provided by the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad, or "The Sausage", as it was commonly termed. The SAU&G was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1956 and subsequently assumed by the Union Pacific.[73][74]

San Antonio became the largest American city without an intra-city rail system when Phoenix, the former largest city without such a system, procured one in 2008. A proposed passenger rail line, LSTAR, would link San Antonio to Austin.[75]

Road[edit]

Further information: List of highways in San Antonio
US 281 southbound towards Downtown San Antonio

San Antonio is served by these major freeways:

Other highways include:

  • U.S. 87: Southbound to Victoria along Roland Avenue then Rigsby Avenue. It runs concurrent with I-10 for 52 miles (84 km) where it goes to San Angelo northbound.
  • U.S. 181: Starts 0.5 miles (0.8 km) south of I-410/I-37/US 281 interchange and heads toward Corpus Christi via Beeville. Prior to I-37 being built, US 181 traveled along Presa St. from Downtown to its current alignment.
  • State Highway 16: From Freer, it runs concurrent with I-410 for 17 miles (27 km) along southwest San Antonio, over to Bandera Road to Bandera.
  • State Loop 345: Fredericksburg Road is the business loop for I-10 West/US-87 North.[76]
  • State Loop 368: Broadway and Austin Highway is the business loop for I-35 North.[77]
  • State PA 1502 (Wurzbach Parkway): Limited-access, high speed road parallel to north IH-410. No frontage roads (to limit development and subsequent local traffic). By 2015 will connect north I-35 and north I-10 across the north side of town.
  • State Loop 353: Nogalitos Street and New Laredo Highway is the business loop for I-35 South.[78]
  • State Loop 13: Is the city's inner loop on the south side serving Lackland AFB, Port San Antonio, South Park Mall and Brooks CityBase traveling along Military Dr. on the south side and WW White Rd. on the east side to its junction with I-35/I-410. The northern arc of the loop is now I-410.

Bicycle paths[edit]

San Antonio has approximately 136 miles (219 km) of bike lanes, routes or off-road paths.[79] Off-road trails travel along the San Antonio River, linear greenways, or city parks. Although largely disconnected, the progress to create a bicycle-friendly environment was recognized when San Antonio was designated a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.[80]

Bicycle sharing[edit]

A bike sharing service was approved by the city council on June 17, 2010.[81] The initial program will consist of 140 bikes at 14 locations supported by a "central hub" and is expected to serve both residents and visitors. San Antonio Bike Share, a non-profit, is being formed to oversee the operation, which will be locally operated and maintained by Bike World. B-Cycle, the same system being used in Denver, will be supplying the bike share system. It started operation March 2011.[82]

Walkability[edit]

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked San Antonio the 40th most walkable of the fifty largest cities in the United States.[83]

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Alliance and friendship cities[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official records for San Antonio were kept at downtown from March 1885 to December 1940, at Stinson Municipal Airport from January 1941 to June 1942, and at San Antonio Int'l since July 1942. For more information, see Threadex

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29.417°N 98.500°W / 29.417; -98.500