The franchise wants to play home games elsewhere.
Did alarm bells sound in San Antonio when the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs ownership group asked Bexar County officials to amend the team’s arena lease to allow the franchise to play home games outside of San Antonio? It sure seems that way. Spurs ownership claims it is looking to expand the Spurs brand name and playing games possibly in Austin or two cities in Mexico can do just that. County commissioners voted 3-2 to give preliminary approval for the Spurs to play four home games outside the city-owned arena for the 2022-2023 season. Spurs’ legal counsel Bobby Perez said games could take place at the city’s Alamodome as well as the University of Texas new arena in Austin and in Mexico City. But Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is not totally convinced that Spurs ownership sees San Antonio as a long-term home or at least he interpreted the three to two vote as a sign of nervousness about the team’s future in San Antonio.
“There are number of people who are convinced they are going to go elsewhere,” Judge Wolff said. “That’s not a good sign. It shows you that there’s a divided opinion in this community as to the intention of the Spurs, that there’s a lot of concern about just what the heck you’re doing.” The San Antonio TV market is bigger than just four NBA markets, those being Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Memphis, but there are about 2.5 million people in the area. Spurs CEO RC Buford put out a calm down statement. “We are committed to finding new, creative ways to purposefully engage and celebrate our fans from Mexico to Austin, continuing to expand our regional fanbase.” The Spurs lease has a non-relocation agreement through 2031-2032. Relocating from the arena before 2032 would cost $84 million.
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