Spurs pilot program cautiously approved for 'home' games in Austin, Mexico

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More Spurs’ “home” games will be played outside San Antonio as commissioners agree to double the number of those games it can play in Austin and Mexico under a limited test period.

Bexar County Commissioners Court agreed Tuesday to let Spurs Sports and Entertainment increase the number of “home” games the Spurs play outside of San Antonio to four under a one-year period that Commissioner Justin Rodriguez called a “pilot program.” The motion passed narrowly by a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Tommy Calvert and Marialyn Barnard voting against. 

“That’s not a good sign,” said County Judge Nelson Wolff. “It shows you that there’s a divided opinion in this community as to the intention of the Spurs and that there’s a lot of concern about just what the heck you’re doing.”

Spurs will have to return to commissioners court in four weeks for final approval of the Spurs intentions and expectations under this pilot program. 

San Antonio Spurs have had many a victory on its home court. 

San Antonio Spurs have had many a victory on its home court. 

William Luther

The AT&T Center is where Spurs are originally contracted to play all 41 of their home games. The pilot program was proposed by Rodriguez in response to a request from the SS&E to amend Spurs and county’s non-relocation agreement. 

The proposed changes for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons could allow the Spurs to play two international “home” games in Mexico City and Monterrey. Another two could be played in Austin.

Commissioners wanted more time to look at the language in the existing “home” game clause in the agreement that allows for two “home” games. Calvert also expressed concern that the Spurs are “testing the waters” to possibly move to Austin, which Rodriguez addressed was a “boomtown.” 

Spurs chief legal counsel Bobby Perez, who was the only representative to speak at the meeting, said playing more “home” games outside of San Antonio will help improve the teams fanbase. The Spurs are also looking for a new naming rights partner for the AT&T Center.

“As we are in the market looking for naming rights partner, expanding that base, whether it’s Mexico or Austin, is not insignificant,”  said Spurs chief legal counsel Bobby Perez. 

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