A week after the San Antonio Spurs asked Bexar County commissioners to play more “home” games away from the AT&T Center, team owner Peter J. Holt sought to reassure fans and local leaders Tuesday, posting an open letter saying the team is not moving away from San Antonio.
Spurs officials last week requested permission to play games during the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons in Austin and in Mexico City with the Spurs as the home team. Bexar County owns the AT&T Center and the Spurs’ lease says the team cannot play more than two home games outside of the county during any one season.
After Spurs Sports & Entertainment General Counsel Bobby Perez told commissioners the team was looking to expand its fan base, concerns arose that the Spurs were eyeing Austin as an eventual home.
“I want to reassure you that the Spurs are in San Antonio to stay,” wrote Holt, the Spurs’ managing partner. “… The Spurs are as much a part of San Antonio as San Antonio is a part of the Spurs.”
Holt went on to describe his personal memories growing up with the Spurs, recalling that he was 12 when the team won its first championship in 1999. Holt took over the reins of the team from his mother, Julianna Hawn Holt, in March 2019. She became the franchise’s chair in 2016, taking over for her then-husband, Peter M. Holt, who had led the organization for two decades.
“My family became involved in the Spurs in the ’90s because there was a real threat that the team would be moved,” Peter J. Holt wrote. “We would not let that happen then and we will not let that happen now. There is no other team in the NBA like the Spurs and no other home like San Antonio.
“The military presence, the downtown honkers, the Salesian sisters who pray during games, the Baseline Bums — these are the San Antonio Spurs. The Alamo, the Missions, the Pearl, the Riverwalk, Fiesta — these are the San Antonio Spurs.”
The Spurs want their lease with the county amended to allow the team to play two of their 41 2022-2023 regular season home games within 100 miles of the arena, likely at Austin’s new Moody Center, according to a spokeswoman for the Spurs. Another game would be played at the Alamodome and yet another would be played outside of the country, likely in Mexico City.
For the 2023-2024 season, the team requested that two games be played within 100 miles of the AT&T Center and two outside the U.S.
Bexar County commissioners indicated they supported the idea for at least one season but delayed a formal vote until May 17. The Spurs have a non-relocation agreement that goes through the 2031–2032 season.