Bexar County approves $101.5 million renovation to the AT&T Center
Bexar County Commissioners Court on Tuesday gave Spurs Sports & Entertainment the green light to begin up to $101.5 million in improvements and renovations to the County-owned AT&T Center. The renovations to the infrastructure and technology will improve the guest experience at every level of the 12-year-old arena and are scheduled to take place in the summer of 2015.
Infrastructure enhancements to the AT&T Center will include new seating arena-wide, improvements to the arena entrances, relocation and expansion of the Fan Shop, expanded concourses in the charter level, updated suite areas and new fan improvements and seating options in the balcony level. Renovations will also include an expansion of the plaza level Whataburger concession, which will be open to the general public on non-event days. Technology improvements to the AT&T Center will include a new high-definition center-hung scoreboard and the addition of wraparound LED boards to the NE, SE and SW towers.
“As the owner it is our responsibility not just to repair and maintain the AT&T Center, but to make sure it stays competitive and provides the best possible experience for everyone who enjoys games, shows and the rodeo there,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “In 2008, voters approved the reinvestment in this facility and we want to follow through by sustaining it as a first-class venue.”
Funding for the renovations will come from both Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which is contributing $16.5 million, and $85 million from the Bexar County visitor tax, established by voters in 1999 to build the AT&T Center. In 2008, voters approved an extension of the tax to fund, among other projects, improvements to the AT&T Center, Freeman Coliseum and rodeo grounds, all owned by Bexar County. The visitor tax is paid through a 1.75 percent hotel occupancy tax and a 5 percent short-term motor vehicle rental tax to fund construction of venues and related infrastructure that enhance economic development and tourism.
The AT&T Center hosts more than 250 events annually and is home to the award-winning San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), San Antonio Stars (WNBA) and San Antonio Rampage (AHL). Spurs Sports & Entertainment has the sole responsibility to design and construct the improvements to the AT&T Center with oversight from the County and Bexar County Community Arenas Board to ensure the County’s facility enhancement and improvement objectives are met.
“The visitor tax is an important economic development tool for Bexar County,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. “With voter support, we used it to build the San Antonio River Mission Reach, the beautiful Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and Briscoe Western Art Museum, and 13 regional youth and amateur athletic fields across Bexar County. Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, which gives millions in scholarships to local students, are a huge draw for this community and the AT&T Center is a big reason for their continued success.”