Tuesday October 3, 2023

Spurs See ‘Transformation’ With Wemby, Arena Deal, Practice Facility

  • Practice facility opening next month as ticket sales surge amid Wembymania
  • Team strikes arena naming rights deal with longtime sponsor
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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October 3, 2023 | Podcast
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The San Antonio Spurs’ business is significantly escalating — and not just thanks to the heralded arrival of rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama.

On Thursday, the NBA team completed an arena naming rights pact with longtime sponsor Frost Bank to rename the former AT&T Center to the Frost Bank Center.

That deal is only the beginning of the franchise’s revitalization. Next month, the Spurs open their $500 million practice center and mixed-use campus, the Rock at La Cantera, a project combining a next-generation training facility with parkland, an event plaza, and commercial space. 

The team also received 4,000 new season-ticket deposits this summer, thanks largely to Wembanyama.

“We’ve been building a team for the future, a franchise for the next generation, and then the hoop gods gave us a gift,” Spurs CEO R.C. Buford told Front Office Sports. “We’re now looking to be on a transformational growth trajectory.”

One of the NBA’s revered franchises on and off the court with five league titles and a reputation for best-in-class business operations, the team missed the postseason the last four seasons, and attendance rankings have dropped from 10th in the league to 25th in that time.

“This team is now on a great path,” said Frost Bank CEO and chair Phil Green to Front Office Sports. “We’d have done the deal with or without Victor, but his being there is icing on the cake.”

Next Arena?

The Frost Bank deal calls for a series of upgrades to the current facility, including a new Frost Club and an interactive light show corresponding with fan noise.

The team’s current arena lease expires in 2032, and Spurs leaders have been increasingly exploring a new downtown venue.

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