H-E-B Plaza at the Alamodome
H-E-B Plaza at the Alamodome, where the San Antonio Commanders will open their first season on Feb. 9. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

San Antonio-based grocery giant H-E-B has signed on as a founding partner of the city’s newest home team, the San Antonio Commanders.

The new Alliance of American Football (AAF) announced Tuesday that H-E-B also will be the presenting partner of the Commanders’ inaugural game in San Antonio on Saturday, Feb. 9, and offer a limited-edition T-shirt for 20,000 fans when the pro team hosts the San Diego Fleet at the Alamodome.

“H-E-B is proud to support the San Antonio Commanders as they kick off the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football in the Alamo City,” stated Cory Basso, H-E-B group vice president of marketing and advertising. “We are thrilled to be a part of this new chapter in professional sports for San Antonio.”

Earlier this month, the AAF announced another local partnership, its first between the league and a brewery. Alamo Beer Company, as part of a sponsorship package, is producing two seasonal craft beers that will carry the Commanders’ name. Alamo Beer will brew, serve, and distribute Commanders Light and Commanders Amber during the first quarter of 2019.

The AAF has also joined with ESPN San Antonio 1250 AM/94.5 FM KZDC as its official radio partner. The agreement allows every Commanders game to be heard over the airwaves in San Antonio and at ESPNSA.com.

The AAF was introduced in March 2018 as a complement to the NFL, with its season kicking off six days after the Super Bowl and finishing in April with a championship around the time of the NFL draft. The league has significant NFL experience in its leadership and coaching, with a number of former NFL players as investors, advisers, and executives in its ranks. The Commanders’ general manager is former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston.

In June 2018, San Antonio was the eighth and final city the AAF unveiled as a charter member of the new league, joining Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; Orlando; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; and San Diego.

H-E-B’s sponsorship brings with it a “tailgate experience.” During the Feb. 9 game, fans in seats between the 25-yard lines on the east side of the Alamodome will be offered an all-you-can-eat food and cash bar in the arena’s H-E-B Plaza.

“H-E-B is a San Antonio and Texas staple,” Commanders President Vic Gregovits stated. “Having H-E-B join as a founding partner for our inaugural season is another example of the Commanders and the Commanders’ brand becoming integrated into the San Antonio community.”

Fans can guarantee their limited-edition T-shirt by purchasing season tickets or tickets to the inaugural game during an open-house event on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For current season-ticket holders and those who previously purchased single-game tickets for the Feb. 9 game, a T-shirt voucher will be loaded onto their account.

Season tickets for seats in the H-E-B Tailgate Zone at the Commanders’ five home games are $100 per game and available by calling the team’s ticket office at 210-944-0504.

The opening game will air live on CBS with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.