946 SBC Center Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78219
The AT&T Center (aka "The T") 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. 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. It seats 18,500 for basketball, 13,000 for hockey and 19,000 for concerts or religious gatherings, and contains 50 luxury suites. SBC Communications, Inc. purchased the naming rights to the facility under a 20-year, $41 million naming rights agreement with the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in July 2000. SBC Communications changed its name to AT&T, Inc. in November 2005 after its purchase of AT&T Corporation. The arena officially changed its name to AT&T Center in January 2006.
Previously, the Spurs played at the football-intended 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.
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 the Conseco Fieldhouse design as well as the Washington Wizards' Verizon Center.
Official San Antonio Spurs Web Site