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The San Antonio Spurs Will Play In Mexico City, The Alamodome, And Austin Next Season

Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs are going to spend a lot of time away from home next season.

Apparently, the franchise has been approved to play four games outside AT&T Center for the 2022-23 campaign, including Mexico City, Austin, and Alamodome.

(via The Athletic)

Spurs chief legal counsel Bobby Perez told commissioners that the franchise wanted an amendment to their agreement with the county so that it could play as a home team in Mexico City and as a home team in the Alamodome during the 2022-23 season, as well two games as in Austin, which would be within 100 miles of its home. The Spurs will celebrate their 50th anniversary next season and want to play games at the Alamodome to mark the title they won there in 1999.

The NBA is targeting a game in Mexico City involving the Spurs to be played in Dec. 2022. The Spurs have previously played in Mexico City but as the away team.

The Spurs want to play two games internationally during the 2023-24 season and two games in Austin. Perez said it has conducted discussions with the Moody Center in Austin about playing there but there is no agreement. The specter of Austin, especially, seemed to raise concerns with commissioners.

Despite being one of the NBA's most successful franchises, San Antonio ranks near the bottom of the league's 30 media markets. That limitation is the primary motivation for their travel.

The Spurs are a bottom-10 media market in the NBA and want to expand the size of their reach from just its home city to a radius spanning Austin and Monterrey in Mexico. They have already made moves in that attempt. They signed a partnership with Viva Aerobus, a Mexican airline, and have had staff deployed in Austin for more than a year to figure out how to engage Spurs fans in that market. The Spurs’ naming rights partnership has also ended and it is searching for a new naming rights partnership for its home arena.

While the Spurs deny they are uncommitted to staying in San Antonio long-term, there is a sense that the franchise is in a state of limbo heading into its 43rd season.

With no franchise superstar available to take the reigns from Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are still looking for their next great player. After 26 years, long-time team coach Gregg Popovich is approaching the end of his career.

With the end of an era of prosperity, it remains to be seen what the future has in store for the Spurs. But, clearly, they are looking to increase their base, grow their network, and connect with fans from all corners of the globe.