AT&T Center

AT&T Center (originally SBC Center) is an indoor arena, located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. It seats 18,581, for basketball, 13,800, for ice hockey and 19,000, for concerts or religious gatherings and contains 2,018 club seats, 50 luxury suites and 32 bathrooms (16 Male and 16 Female).

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. 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.

It is home to the San Antonio Spurs, of the NBA, the San Antonio Rampage, of the AHL, in the winter-spring season and the San Antonio Silver Stars, of the WNBA, in the summer.

The PRCA, who holds the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo every February, also hosts an Xtreme Bulls tour event annually (at around the same time as the Stock Show). 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.

In addition to many local community and sporting events, the San Antonio Sports Car Association holds autocross competitions in the parking lot each month.

History

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

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.

Notable events
Sports
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (4.6 m) 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.
  • On 31 October 2009, in a game against the Sacramento Kings, a bat descended onto the court at the AT&T Center, causing a stoppage of play. As the bat flew past players on the court, San Antonio star guard Manu Ginóbili swatted the bat to the ground with his hand. He then carried the creature off the court, earning the applause of the crowd.
Wrestling
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • On December 21, 2010, WWE held their first ever live SmackDown on the USA Network that was apart on WWE week on USA.
  • On May 16, 2011, WWE held Monday Night Raw live in San Antonio.
  • On October 23, 2011, WWE will return Vengeance after a 4 year hiatus of the event.
Concerts
  • The Rolling Stones – November 23, 2002
  • Cher – November 25, 2002
  • Shakira – January 23, 2003 and September 22, 2006
  • Elton John and Billy Joel – February 26, 2003 and March 21, 2009
  • The Eagles – June 9, 2003 and September 8, 2008
  • Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake – June 28, 2003
  • The Dixie Chicks – July 29, 2003, with Michelle Branch
  • Fleetwood Mac – October 5, 2003
  • Maná – October 26, 2003, August 31, 2007 and June 29, 2011
  • Luis Miguel – November 2, 2003, October 13, 2005, October 14, 2008 and June 10, 2011
  • Shania Twain – November 22, 2003
  • The Trans-Siberian Orchestra – December 12, 2003, December 12, 2004, December 16, 2005, December 23, 2006 (2 shows), December 23, 2007 (2 shows), January 2 (2 shows) and December 26 (2 shows), 2009 and December 4, 2010 (2 shows)
  • Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliot – March 17, 2004, with Tamia
  • Prince & The New Power Generation – June 9, 2004
  • Jessica Simpson – July 16, 2004
  • Gloria Estefan – August 6, 2004
  • Van Halen – September 28, 2004 and January 24, 2008
  • Avril Lavigne – October 26, 2004
  • Scorpions – November 13, 2004 and July 23, 2010
  • Bette Midler – November 14, 2004
  • Sarah Brightman – November 17, 2004
  • Metallica – November 20, 2004, with Godsmack and September 28, 2009, with Gojira and Lamb of God
  • Josh Groban – March 5, 2005, March 22, 2007 and May 18, 2011, with Eric Lewis
  • American Idol Live! – August 12, 2005 and July 16, 2007
  • Destiny's Child – August 19, 2005
  • Green Day – August 21, 2005, with Jimmy Eat World and August 9, 2009, with Franz Ferdinand
  • Santana – October 6, 2005
  • Nine Inch Nails – October 16, 2005, with Queens of the Stone Age and Death from Above 1979
  • Depeche Mode – November 9, 2005, with The Bravery
  • Aerosmith – January 25, 2006, with Lenny Kravitz
  • Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – July 23, 2006
  • Tool – September 12, 2006, with Isis, May 21, 2007 and July 24, 2009
  • The Cheetah Girls – October 5, 2006, with Hannah Montana and Jordan Pruitt, January 7, 2007, with Everlife and October 21, 2008, with Clique Girlz
  • Carrie Underwood – November 16, 2006 and October 7, 2010, with Sons of Sylvia and Billy Currington
  • Eric Clapton – March 3, 2007, with The Robert Cray Band
  • The Used – March 4, 2007
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers – March 6, 2007
  • My Chemical Romance – April 16, 2007, with Muse
  • Ben Folds – June 24, 2007, with John Mayer
  • Beyoncé – July 15, 2007
  • RBD – October 5, 2007
  • Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus – November 12, 2007, with The Jonas Brothers and October 15, 2009, with Metro Station
  • The Police – November 20, 2007, with Fiction Plane
  • The Jonas Brothers – February 12, 2008, with Rooney, August 13, 2009, with Honor Society, Jordin Sparks and Wonder Girls and September 10, 2010, with Demi Lovato
  • Juanes – May 8, 2008
  • Stone Temple Pilots – June 27, 2008
  • Neil Diamond – October 12, 2008
  • New Kids on the Block – October 17, 2008, with Tami Chynn and June 28, 2011, with The Backstreet Boys, Jordin Sparks and Ashlyne Huff
  • AC/DC – December 12, 2008
  • Celine Dion – January 7, 2009
  • Lil Wayne – March 23, 2009, with Gorilla Zoe and Young Money
  • Nickelback – April 14, 2009, with Seether and Saving Abel
  • Coldplay – June 10, 2009, with Snow Patrol
  • Il Divo – June 20, 2009
  • The Vans Warped Tour – July 2, 2009, July 1, 2010 and June 26, 2011
  • Judas Priest – July 25, 2009, with Whitesnake and Pop Evil
  • The Mayhem Festival – August 14, 2009
  • Iron Maiden – June 12, 2010, with Dream Theater
  • Michael Bublé – July 17, 2010, with Naturally 7 (his largest audience to date)
  • Rihanna – July 25, 2010, with Ke$ha and Travie McCoy
  • KISS – September 19, 2010
  • Rush – September 23, 2010
  • Slayer – September 25, 2010, with Megadeth and Anthrax
  • Justin Bieber – November 5, 2010, with Jasmine Villegas
  • Ozzy Osbourne – January 24, 2011, with Slash
  • Lady Gaga – March 15, 2011, with The Scissor Sisters
  • Bon Jovi – March 17, 2011
  • The Deftones – June 3, 2011, with The Dillinger Escape Plan
  • Mötley Crüe - June 9, 2011, with Poison and The New York Dolls
  • Wisin & Yandel – June 18, 2011