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Design & Development

San Antonio Spurs ‘exploring plans’ for new downtown arena

AT&T Center in San Antonio, USA

Featured image credit: Bradford Fults/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

AT&T Center in San Antonio, USA

Featured image credit: Bradford Fults/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

The San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team is reportedly exploring plans for a new downtown arena that could form part of a wider sports and entertainment district.

The Spurs’ fan base is expected to grow in the coming years after the team selected No.1 pick Victor Wembanyama at the NBA Draft last month. The 19-year-old Frenchman is considered one of the brightest NBA prospects in recent years.

The San Antonio Express-News, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the Spurs are weighing up the possibility of building a new downtown arena to showcase Wembanyama.

The report adds that the San Antonio Missions Minor League Baseball team is considering building its own new stadium, which could sit alongside a new Spurs arena to form part of a wider district that would also include dining facilities and other amenities.

The Spurs have played at AT&T Center since the arena opened in 2002. AT&T Center is owned by Bexar County and a non-relocation agreement is in place until the 2031-32 season which holds penalties ranging from $84m (£64.3m/€74.9m) to $130m for breaking it, depending on the year.

In April, the team was given the green light to play two games in Austin and one overseas for each of the next two seasons as it looks to expand its fan base across Texas and in Mexico, where it played in December.

The team has previously insisted that it is committed to remaining in San Antonio, and a new downtown arena could now be on the cards. No official comment has been made by the Spurs following the San Antonio Express-News report.

Eddie Aldrete, who ran the campaign for AT&T Center’s public funding ahead of the arena’s opening, told the newspaper: “I think they’re (the Spurs) are doing some preliminary research to see if it would make sense. They wouldn’t want to start the conversation if the math doesn’t add up.”