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25th Anniversary Issue

Current 25: Spurs still cashing in on Bexar voters' generosity

2001-2005

Still, the Spurs liked Bexar County’s deal rather than the City of San Antonio’s. The county’s deal offered cheaper rent over a longer period — $1.3 million over 25 years as opposed to $1.5 million over 20 years. With the county, the Spurs also got control of the arena as operator, the ability to negotiate naming rights, and all parking, advertising, and arena rentals revenue. (The city, some of you may remember, wanted to serve as the facility’s operator, receive concessions revenue, have a hand in naming rights, and get a chunk of food and beverage sales from suites, ticket sales, facility fees, and parking.)

The only perceived shortcoming in the county’s offer was that the Spurs would be forced to concede control of the arena for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo once a year — three weeks out of every 52.

“In essence the Spurs were handed a blank check,” said Sanders when discussing the county’s offer. “If the Spurs wanted a WNBA team or a hockey team or concerts, they were in the position to put it on and reap the profits.”

What a deal.

So while you pay for the tickets and vote for the proposals, the Spurs are never truly your team. Unless, of course, you live in socialist Green Bay.

So, let’s start over: Would you spend $261.36 for an evening of basketball with your family? There’s no beer in that, and no hat. Take it or leave it.

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