It is always about money.
It appears the owners of the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs want a new training facility for the team and instead of reaching into their own pockets to build the facility, the owners want public assistance. The San Antonio basketball team is presently using a facility that is 17 years old for training. The proposed facility that ownership wants would open in 2022 and there would be expanded practice facilities. The team owners also would like to set up a sports medicine research facility and that could be the reason that local politicians might jump on board with the project. The sports medicine research facility could create jobs. It would not be much more than a handful of positions but that might be enough to get tax breaks or maybe public subsidies. Getting taxpayers money to build training camp facilities is nothing new even though training camp facilities produce almost no money as economic generators.
Why does the public have to help out a private business in San Antonio? The answer is simple. San Antonio as a market cannot compete with New York or Los Angeles where more money is available for things like an arena or a practice facility. At least that was the excuse in the late 1990s when Spurs ownership claimed the team needed to get out of the Alamodome and needed a new facility. In 1999, Spurs ownership ran a political campaign to get money by targeting people who normally didn’t vote. The 1999 Spurs arena plan was given the okay by voters because of a large segment of 20-something basketball fans voted for the first time to raise hotel occupancy and car rental taxes to fund the construction costs. There will not be a vote this time. Spurs owners now want public money for practice facilities and politicians are listening.