SBC Center

From Academic Kids

SBC Center
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SBC Center Interior

Arena Information
Address1 SBC Center Parkway
San Antonio, Texas 78219
Broke groundAugust 2000
OpenedOctober 18, 2002
Construction cost$186 million USD
ArchitecttEllerbe Becket
San Antonio Spurs2002-present
San Antonio Rampage2002-present
San Antonio Silver Stars2003-present
Seating Capacity
Hockeyaprox. 13,000

The SBC Center is an indoor arena located in San Antonio, Texas. It was completed in 2002 at a cost of $186 million, financed by a local sales tax. 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 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February. It seats 18,500 for basketball and 13,000 for ice hockey. The stadium includes 50 luxury suites. Naming rights were paid for by SBC Communications.

SBC Center Origins

Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome, a facility constructed primarily as a football stadium, but with a configuration that allowed for half the floor space to be used for basketball. Though the Alamodome was still relatively new, having opened in 1993, it had become clear over the years that the Spurs were using the arena for much of the year, meaning that it could not be used for conventions and football games. Moreover, the Spurs and many Spurs fans became unhappy with the facility because the cavernous nature of being primarily a football stadium differentiated it from most other NBA facilities, including the Spurs' previous experience in the more compact HemisFair Arena.

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 as well as large club seating areas.

The Spurs campaigned for several years for a new facility and eventually partnered with the Bexar County government to work on a project which was essentially a joint project between the Spurs and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo which was a large, multi-day event held at Freeman Coliseum. The proposed arena would be located near the existing Freeman Coliseum site and would be funded through a mix of tax increases on hotel and car rental taxes.

Bexar County voters passed the referendum in November 1999. Coincidentally, the vote was held on the same day the Spurs received their NBA Championship rings for their title victory a season earlier.

Construction Begins

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After the stadium referendum was passed, planning quickly began for construction on the new facility. Naming rights were obtained in July 2000 when 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 design was similar to many of the other newer arenas in the NBA, in no small part to the choice of Kansas City-based Ellerbe Beckett as the primary architects. Ellerbe Becket was responsible for the Conseco Fieldhouse design as well as the Washington Wizards' MCI Center.

Memorable Moments

  • The Spurs began playing at the SBC Center during the 2002-2003 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 was played in front of the sold-out SBC Center crowd, who saw their Spurs rally for a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat the New Jersey 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 SBC 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. Unfortunatley for the Spurs, Derek Fisher sunk a desperation heave at the buzzer to give the Lakers the 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.
  • The Spurs mascot "The Coyote" has had his share of attention at the SBC 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. Currently, Tim Derk still works for the Spurs, but not as the Coyote. 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 Rick Perry, the govenor of Texas.
  • Since moving into the SBC Center, the Spurs have been a tough team to play at home. As of June 1 2005, they have compiled a record of 122-26 in regular season and playoff games, a winning percentage of over 80 percent.

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