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AT&T Center
ATTCenterlogo.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 98.4375°W / 29.42694; -98.4375Coordinates: 29°25′37″N 98°26′15″W / 29.42694°N 98.4375°W / 29.42694; -98.4375
Broke ground August 2000
Opened October 18, 2002 [1]
Owner Bexar County
Operator Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Construction cost $186 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket[2]
Capacity Basketball: 18,581
Ice hockey: 13,400
Concert: 17,444 (maximum capacity)
Tenants
San Antonio Spurs (NBA) (2002-present)
San Antonio Silver Stars (WNBA) (2003-present)
San Antonio Rampage (AHL) (2002-present)
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (2003-present)

The AT&T Center is an indoor arena located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. It was completed in 2002 as the SBC Center at a cost of $175 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.[3] The arena is home to the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA and the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL in the winter-spring, the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA in the summer, and the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo held in February. The PRCA, who holds the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, also hosts an Xtreme Bulls tour event annually (at around the same time as the Stock Show). It seats 18,797 for basketball, 13,000 for hockey and 19,000 for concerts or religious gatherings, and contains 50 luxury suites, and 32 bathrooms (16 Male and 16 Female). In addition to many local community and sporting events, the San Antonio Sports Car Association holds autocross competitions in the parking lot each month. On the weekend of August 1-2, 2009, the PBR also hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at this arena, after having held a BFTS event at the Alamodome in 2007 and 2008. 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 in November 2005 after its purchase of AT&T Corporation. The arena officially changed its name to AT&T Center in January 2006.

Contents

History

AT&T Center at night.
AT&T Center inside.

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 the dome for much of the year, making it difficult to schedule contiguous dates for conventions or even a regular-season football schedule. Although seating capacity in the Alamodome made the facility the largest in the NBA, the Spurs and fans were not satisfied with the facility because of its poor sight lines for basketball and the cavernous nature of the arena configuration. Being primarily a football stadium differentiated the Alamodome from most other NBA facilities, including the Spurs' previous home HemisFair Arena. The Spurs management always considered the Alamodome a temporary, not permanent, solution and had a new arena deal not been made, the team most certainly would have left the city.

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

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 hockey team, 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 1999 championship title.

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.

Construction

SBC Center logo (2002-2005).

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, in no small part 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 Indiana's Conseco Fieldhouse design as well as Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center.

Memorable moments

  • The Spurs began playing at the AT&T Center during the 2002–03 NBA season, a season which saw the team win their second NBA Championship, defeating the New Jersey Nets in six games. The championship-clinching Game 6 was played in front of the sold-out AT&T Center crowd, who saw their Spurs rally for a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Nets 88-77 and to send local favorite David Robinson out in style, ending his career on a championship note.
  • The following season saw the Spurs locking horns with their longtime nemesis, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the Western Conference semi-finals. With the series tied at two games apiece, Game 5 at the AT&T Center saw one of the most memorable finishes in NBA Playoff history. With the Spurs down by one, Tim Duncan hit a fadeaway jumper over Shaquille O'Neal to give the Spurs a one point lead with four-tenths of a second left in the game. Unfortunately for the Spurs, Derek Fisher sunk a desperation heave at the buzzer to give the Lakers the controversial victory. The Lakers would go on to win the series and eventually advance all the way to the NBA Finals, only to be bounced by Larry Brown and the Detroit Pistons in five games.
  • Game 7 of the 2005 NBA Finals, the first Finals Game 7 in the NBA since 1994, was played at the AT&T Center, where the Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 81-74 to win their second title in three years, both of which were clinched at the AT&T Center.
  • The Spurs mascot "The Coyote" has had his share of attention at the SBC/AT&T Center. In February 2004, the original actor behind the costume, Tim Derk, suffered a stroke that left him slightly paralyzed, meaning that he could no longer perform the physically taxing task of being the Coyote. At the Spurs first home game since that incident, the Coyote, portrayed by a replacement actor, came out and performed his usual act as normal, but after his first appearance that night, he held up a sign that read "Get Well Tim Derk", which sent the 18,000+ crowd into a long standing ovation. (Derk currently continues his work with the Spurs, though not as the Coyote.) On a lighter note, on March 16, 2005, The Coyote got ejected from a game when he "argued" a call, on the baseline. The ejection was mentioned on TV and on the radio but there was no announcement made by the PA announcer, leaving fans wondering why the Coyote wasn't appearing during timeouts. A few games later, the Coyote was given a full "pardon" by Governor Rick Perry.
  • Since their move into the AT&T Center, the Spurs have been a tough team to play at home. As of June 14, 2007, they have compiled a home record of 203-45 in regular season and playoff games, a winning percentage of 82 percent.
  • The Undertaker won his first WWE Royal Rumble match of his historic career, last eliminating San Antonio's own Shawn Michaels, which was held at the AT&T Center on January 28, 2007.
  • American singer Beyonce performed at the AT&T Center on July 15, 2007.
  • Singer Miley Cyrus performed at the arena on November 12, 2007 on the Best of Both Worlds Tour. Tickets sold out quickly. She returned to the arena on her Wonder World Tour on October 15, 2009.
  • On April 19, 2008, in game one of the First Round in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns, Michael Finley sends the game, which was mostly dominated by the Phoenix Suns, into Overtime as he hits a clutch 3 pointer with less than 16 seconds left in regulation. During the first Overtime, the Spurs, down by three points with less than 12 seconds to go in the game, go to Tim Duncan, who surprisingly hits another clutch 3 pointer to send the game into its 2nd Overtime. During the second Overtime, Steve Nash hits yet another clutch three pointer, this time for Phoenix, to tie the game at 115-all. Seconds after that, Manu Ginóbili makes a drive to the hoop to score the eventual game winner over Raja Bell to make it 117-115, which would be the final score in what was considered by many to be one of the greatest games in NBA History.
  • The 2008 WWE Draft was held on June 23, 2008 at the AT&T Center, which featured many big draft moves, including RAW mainstay Triple H being drafted to Smackdown and Smackdown mainstay Rey Mysterio being drafted to RAW.
  • In the second round of the 2008 WNBA Playoffs, the San Antonio Silver Stars were facing the Los Angeles Sparks in a three-game series. Game one belonged to the Sparks; game 2 was a must-win for the Silver Stars. The Stars were down by 1 with 1.5 seconds to go. On an sideline inbounds pass, Sophia Young banked in a 15-foot turnaround jumper to win and force a game three. The Silver Stars went on to win game three and advance to the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
  • American rock band, Green Day, performed on August 9, 2009, with openers Franz Ferdinand.
  • Slayer and Marilyn Manson performed on August 14, 2009 at the Mayhem Festival.
  • On December 13, 2009, WWE held their 1st ever TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Pay-Per-View from the AT&T Center. In the main event, hometown favorite, Shawn Michaels, teamed with Triple H as Degeneration-X to defeat Chris Jericho and the Big Show for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Actress and singer Selena Gomez will perform at the arena as part of her tour on February 7, 2010.

References

External links

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
EnergySolutions Arena
(as Utah Starzz)
Home of the
San Antonio Silver Stars

2003 – present
Succeeded by
current
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