The Spurs Game at the Alamodome May Be the Most Important Game of the Season

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The Spurs Game at the Alamodome in 2023 will be between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs
(Credit: D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports)

When the San Antonio Spurs announced their 2022-23 season schedule, there were a few things out of the ordinary. First, there are planned “home” games in Mexico City and Austin. Also, the organization wants to set a record for regular season attendance by having one Spurs game at the Alamodome. Finally, there is only one nationally-televised game on the schedule, and it’s against the defending NBA Champions.

With Spurs’ home-game ticket sales dwindling in the post-Kawhi Era, setting an attendance record for a regular season game seems like quite a feat. In the Spurs’ 50th season, and with the team embracing a new rebuild, this Spurs game at the Alamodome is likely the one chance for them to get any praise this year. It could also a test of the city’s loyalty, or a farewell to calling the 210 home.

The Most Important Game Of The Year

The January 13th throwback Spurs game at the Alamodome may be the most important game for the front office, and fans in the city of San Antonio. Analysts have predicted the the Spurs have the toughest schedule and will end the season in the lottery. The city of San Antonio is hoping for just that to get a chance to draft a top-pick prospect like Victor Wembenyama or Scoot Henderson. Until the summer, chances for positive headlines and national attention seems bleak. A mid-season celebration like the Alamodome game could do a lot of good. 

The NBA’s current single-game attendance record is 62,046 from a 1998 Atlanta Hawks game in the Georgia Dome against the Chicago Bulls. To take the record, the Spurs will have to do everything they can to fill the seats mid-rebuild. While the venue may be a throwback, the price of admission certainly isn’t

Tickets are available for pre-sale at exorbitant ticket prices on third-party retailers with the least costly tickets going for $250. This could likely be a deterrent in San Antonio who might feel taken advantage of. Remember nosebleed seats going for $5 in the 1990s and 2000s?

Still, the Spurs game at the Alamodome will be a good opportunity for fans to relive some nostalgia. It will also be a chance to share memories with a new generation of fans. With a good public relations campaign, breaking the record should be an achievable goal for the Spurs.

Is the Spurs Game at the Alamodome One Last Fiesta Before…

A rebuild isn’t the only thing the Spurs organization is embracing this season. The 50th Season also marks the first season the Spurs have made a proactive effort to expand the fan base beyond the Alamo City. With “home” games in Mexico City and Austin this season, the Spurs are making an effort to be the NBA team for all of Southwest Texas and Mexico.

In May 2022, Spurs CEO RC Buford released this statement:

“We are committed to finding new, creative ways to purposefully engage and celebrate our fans from Mexico to Austin, continuing to expand our regional fanbase. We believe San Antonio is uniquely positioned from a cultural, geographic, and economic standpoint to serve as the anchor for this region. San Antonio has been home for five decades and the organization will continue to innovate, positioning the Spurs to thrive in San Antonio for the next 50 years.”

This has caused some Spurs fans to panic that the Spurs want to move away from San Antonio. Some even point to the Spurs’ 2022 Statement Jersey as a sign that the Spurs want to relocate to Austin. Majority team owner Peter J Holt has already made a statement in an attempt to reassure fans there are no plans to leave the Alamo City. In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Buford left to door open for a possible Austin-based practice facility.

History Shows Fans Should Be Worried

For now, there are only three games scheduled outside of the city. If there’s money to be made, however, expect an attempt to expand the number of games in Austin or Mexico City. There could even a proposal to build a new arena between San Antonio and Austin, or a full-on move to Austin. This may sound like fear-mongering but let’s remember the lessons learned in Seattle.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Hornets played some of the 2005-06 season in Oklahoma City. The Hornets initially expected most of the attendance to be those showing up to see oppoing stars.. In the first game, however, a rookie Chris Paul lead the Hornets in a blowout 93-67 victory. With a winning team, locals began showing up to games in droves. It was fun while it lasted, but the Hornets returned to New Orleans by the end of the season.

The NBA experiment in Oklahoma City was successful though, and fans wanted more. In 2008, the Seattle Supersonics attempted to force the city to fund a new arena, by putting the team for sale. An Oklahoma-based group made the Starbucks CEO and Supersonics owner Howard Schultz an offer and he accepted. Thus, the Supersonics, with Kevin Durant, moved to Oklahoma City and changed their name to the Thunder.

So Yes, The Alamodome Game is Important

Is “expanding the region” code for the NBA in Austin experiment? It’s the worst-case scenario for Spurs fans based in San Antonio. The Spurs have regional rights to Austin, so there’s no chance for an expansion team in Austin. The only real option would be for the Spurs to give up regional rights or move the team. What’s interesting, is the games at the new Moody Center won’t be played until the spring. This season could be a test presented by the Spurs is important for the city of San Antonio. The answers to the test are both simple and difficult. First, show up to the games throughout the season. Second, fill every seat at the Spurs game at the Alamodome

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