SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs got just enough approval from Bexar County commissioners to play some of their home games abroad next year including games in Mexico City, Austin, Monterrey, Mexico, and the Alamodome.
County commissioners voted 3-2 to give preliminary approval for the Spurs to play four home games outside the AT&T Center in the 2022-2023 season.
Initially, the team asked to play games away from home for two years, but County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez countered with a one-year deal, which the Spurs representative agreed to.
The vote's outcome did cause a stir among fans and the city with many feeling uneasy about the Spurs' future in San Antonio.
To clear the air, Rodriguez spoke with San Antonio Sports Star's "The Blitz with Jason Minnix and Joe Reinagel " about today's outcome and what it means.
"The way they [Spurs] painted it, to expand their fanbase," Rodriguez said. "They want to be able to sell potentially to their Mexican fanbase, in Mexico City, in Monterrey, as well as their fanbase up the road in I-35 in the Austin corridor to potential ways to come for games."
Rodriguez, who proposed a 1-year pilot program to explore what the Spurs want to do, continued to explain that nothing is set in stone as far as the Spurs playing in Austin's new Moody Center and that terms are still being negotiated.
In addition, he went on to say the Spurs have reinforced that they are committed to San Antonio.
"We also received a full-throated commitment from the Spurs that they are planning to stay here [San Antonio]. That this part of being successful in San Antonio is expanding that fanbase. Bringing in some different investors in terms of season ticket holders," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he feels it is a win-win situation for all parties.
Now there is a two-week period before everyone reconvenes on the topic.
"We're hopeful that the specific terms of this and the direction we gave to staff and our lawyers will be to come back in two weeks," Rodriguez said.
He pointed out that the team is investing in "The Rock" sports complex (that's currently under construction) and that he has received assurances from team personnel about staying in the city although he does understand that ultimately this is a business.
"All of these things point to, from my perspective, backing up what their commitment is," Rodriguez said. "That is San Antonio is their home. The Spurs have been in San Antonio for 50 years and hope to be here for another 50 years."
Rodriguez understands that Austin could be seen as an NBA destination and the current connections to Austin within the Spurs, such as ownership, could make fans and the city uneasy.
"I get that," Rodriguez said. "I think a lot of the angst has to do with this flirtation that the Spurs have gotten from Austin. Do alarms go off for me? Absolutely."
Said Rodriguez: "We know the Spurs are San Antonio's team but again the reality is you have a booming community up I-35, just 80 miles away, and part of the ownership is from Austin. We know this. At least on paper, the Spurs are here until 2032."
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It should be noted the Spurs have been courting Austin fans for years now through ride-shares, establishing their G League team in Austin, hosting an Austin Spurs game in the AT&T Center, and even providing helicopter rides to San Antonio for games.
Rodriguez does say that agreements have been broken in sports but for now, all one can do is just take the Spurs at their word when it comes to remaining in San Antonio and understand all the team is doing is just to lock in the long-term success for the team in the Alamo City.
"I think all we can do though is take them [Spurs] at their word and that is about solidifying economically from a fiscal perspective the base here in San Antonio to be successful here in San Antonio," he said.
As for the home games away from the arena, Rodriguez says they voted on giving the team a possible game in the Alamodome for a throw-back game next season as the team will celebrate its 50th anniversary in San Antonio.
There is a lot of work to be done with this topic so stay tuned Spurs fans.
What do you have to say, Spurs fans on this? Let us know on Twitter at @KENS5 and @JeffGSpursKENS5.