The year is 2032. I’ll be 55 years old. And, that will be the first time in my lifetime the San Antonio Spurs will call another city home. I know this. Deep down inside, I think you know this too.
Peter J. Holt issued a statement Monday claiming the Spurs are not moving. The statement touched on all the right things: the Holt family saved the Spurs from moving in the past, the family’s love for local cuisine, and the franchise’s passion for this growing city. I have faith in Peter J. Holt’s words. Who am I to suggest that he is lying? I trust Peter J. Holt. I just don’t trust the Austin money within the Spurs organization.
The Holt family owns less than 50% of the Spurs. That means the rest of the ownership group could one day gang up on the Holts and move the franchise someplace else if the majority wanted to. This concern stems from the team asking Bexar County Commissioners Court to play games outside of the AT&T Center, namely Austin and Mexico City. Like I said, I trust the Holts. It’s the potential foxes in the henhouse that I don’t trust, which include the founders of Dell Technologies and Airbnb. They are still strangers to this city.
To be honest, I wouldn’t blame the Spurs if they wanted to move to Austin (or someplace closer like San Marcos). When the AT&T Center was built, it was with the expectation there would be business development around the arena. With all due respect to Rock & Brews, there is absolutely nothing in the vicinity to attract fans to the stadium. I blame two decades worth of city and county officials for that failure.
Meantime, the vast majority of the NBA plays in palaces that have upscale restaurants, bars and condos on the outside. Have you ever seen where the Lakers, Rockets and Mavericks play? If you haven’t, let me tell you… it’s a different experience. San Antonio is stuck with a barn on the east side of town.
The AT&T Center turns 20 years old this fall. We got rid of the Hemisfair Arena after 27 years. The time is now. Build a palace the franchise (and San Antonians for that matter) deserve. We aren’t in marriage counseling yet with the Spurs. But to me, they’ve just told us they are not 100% happy with the relationship… No matter what Peter J. Holt’s letter says.
- Michael Jimenez