San Antonio Officials Are Worried That The NBA Spurs Could Eventually Leave Town

The team playing two games in Austin is troubling for some in San Antonio.

There is a nervousness in San Antonio concerning the future of the National Basketball Association’s Spurs franchise in town. The NBA team is hosting a pair of games in Austin on April 6th and April 8th and some people in San Antonio think those games will serve as a prelude to the team moving permanently to the Texas capital. Spurs owner Peter Holt said there are no plans to leave San Antonio.  “I was raised in San Antonio and this city has helped define the foundation of the Spurs. The Spurs are as much a part of San Antonio as San Antonio is a part of the Spurs. My family became involved in the Spurs in the 90s because there was a real threat that the team would be moved. We would not let that happen then and we will not let that happen now. There is no other team in the NBA like the Spurs and no other home like San Antonio.” The Spurs CEO R. C. Buford said, ‘we have been part of the San Antonio community for 50 years and expect to be celebrating another 50 years 50 years from now.” Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai said he has a great relationship with Holt and the team is not going anywhere.

There is some concern that Spurs minority owner Michael Dell, an Austin resident, who owns a global computer manufacturing company, might over the course of time convince his fellow Spurs partners to leave San Antonio and set up shop in Austin. The Spurs ownership group claims by playing out of market home games it can expand its TV reach and generate maximum TV revenues. That may be a problem with the Spurs cable TV carrier Bally Sports Southwest bankrupt. The NBA allowed the Spurs to play a home game in Mexico this year.  San Antonio is a small market franchise and cannot compete with big markets for revenues.

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San Antonio Spurs’ Drew Eubanks, center, and Dejounte Murray, right, vie or possession against Orlando Magic’s R.J. Hampton (13), Ignas Brazdeikis, second from left, Franz Wagner (22), and Robin Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)