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13.01.2016

The city of San Antonio has had a rocky relationship with the San Antonio Spurs since the late 80’s. It was back in 1989 that voters barely passed a half cent sales tax to get the Alamo Dome built as the Spurs threatened to leave the city if they did not get a new facility to play in. The aging Hemisfair Arena would no longer allow the Spur to stay competitive in the world of pro basketball as other teams built new facilities that were more modern. The Alamo Dome was built-in 1993 and the Spurs played in that facility for a decade winning their fist NBA title in 1999. It was no coincidence that in 1999 the Spurs organization approached the city again and demanded a new facility or they would leave San Antonio and look for a new home. Once again the voters agreed to have the AT&T Center built by increasing the hotel occupancy and car-rental tax. The Spurs agreed to contribute a total of $28.5 million towards the cost of building the new facility. This is where the broken promises and politics come into play and we the tax payers are caught in the middle. Originally the City wanted to Spurs to build their new facility downtown and they had a verbal agreement to do just that. However at the last-minute the County came in with a counter offer which the Spurs could not pass up and the rest is history. The County and the Spurs agreed to build the AT&T Center on the east side next to the Joe & Harry Freeman Coliseum. This agreement was to revitalize the east side and bring new businesses and hotel’s to the area. This never happened because the County was only responsible for building the AT&T Center. It’s was the City’s responsibility to revitalize the east side by bringing new business and giving tax breaks to entice Hotels and Motels to build near the AT&T Center. With the City mad about the County coming in and stealing the Spurs away from them the political dispute has led to the area around the AT&T Center to become a ghost town. What most people did not know is the only reason the Spurs agreed to build the AT&T Center on the east side was the county gave up most of the revenue generated by the AT&T Center to the Spurs. There is no profit-sharing agreement between the County and the Spurs. What this means is the Spurs keep almost all the profit generated by the AT&T Center and the county is left on the outside looking in. Only time will tell if the City, County and the Spurs can agree on a deal in the near future that will ultimately benefit us the tax payers. If history has taught us anything it’s this. While we love our Spurs we should not allow them to control what is in the best interest for the community. We the voters should have the power to decide our future and what is best for our community. Author: Joe Garcia October 12, 2015 Spurs Fan Cave
Submitted by Joe Garcia

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