Downtown Spurs Arena Splits Minds

Here’s the thing about the “new” talk that the Spurs “need” a downtown arena.

We had a downtown arena. And granted, it got old, but remember how fast everyone was in moving them out of downtown, because that was the fad for big city venues at the time? Get out of downtown, less traffic, more parking!

Cue the Alamodome, which was a football stadium, which became a plus-sized basketball arena, and only now, in its dotage, (thanks Roadrunners!) has hit its golden years as a football venue.

Then we got the debates over various other locations before the unhappy choice of putting the AT&T Center over next to the Paleolithic Freeman Coliseum.

So, all of the sudden, the Spurs get Wemby, and now we “need” them downtown, like yesterday. Oh, and shades of “build it and they will come”, it needs to be a basketball/baseball “complex”. Which is really two facilities, because even the people who brought you basketball at the ‘Dome aren’t going to build a beast that holds basketball AND baseball.

I know they’re saying the baseball park would be for the minor-league Missions. And I’m telling you, the “mission” is MLB expansion.

To be honest, I really like cities like Cleveland, where all the sports venues are clustered together. Of course, I didn’t have to pay for it, or forego services because of it. I don’t live there. What did it take?

At what cost, to a city like SA, without sidewalks for kids walking to school, without high-speed Internet access in wide areas, and with a notoriously corrupt and inept political culture. They can’t fix or properly pave a street, control homelessness, but they’re going to pull off a complicated, expensive “reimagining” of downtown?

Remember, HemisFair was spearheaded and godfathered by civic capitalists, not the socialists we have today.

You know what would be nice? If politicians who are so pro- the sports business were also pro-business business.  Don’t just be capitalists for sports.

A new arena needs corporate dollars IN it, not just a corporate name ON it.


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