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The Alamodome is a domed 65,000 seat, multi-purpose facility that is primarily used as a football/basketball stadium and convention center in San Antoniomarker, Texasmarker, USAmarker. The facility opened on May 15, 1993, at a cost of $186 million.

Along with placating the San Antonio Spurs ownership's demands for a larger basketball venue, the multi-purpose facility was intended to increase the city's convention traffic and attract a professional football franchise. The Spurs played basketball in the Alamodome for a decade, then became disenchanted with the facility and convinced Bexar Countymarker to construct them and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Inc. a new arena now called the AT&T Centermarker.

Features

The facility is a rectilinear 5-level stadium which can seat up to 65,000 spectators for a typical football game and is expandable to hold 72,000 spectators, allowing the possibility to host a Super Bowl. The arena configuration (basketball/hockey) takes 12-18 hours to set up retractable seating and install the playing surface. In this configuration, typically only the two lower levels at one or both ends of the facility are used. The arena configuration seats 20,662 spectators and can be expanded to 39,500 when the upper level is opened. When the Spurs played home games here 3 upper decks were used in selected games and in the playoffs increasing the capacity to 35,000, while the other was covered by a large curtain containing the Spurs division title banners, retired number banners and 1999 championship banner

The Alamodome opened with 38 luxury suites and 6,000 club level seats. The original design specifications called for 66 luxury suites. Since the San Antonio Spurs were the only occupant at the time, only 38 luxury suites in the north end of the facility were built (where the basketball court was placed, and a curtain separated it from the south end). The footprints for the 28 unbuilt luxury suites were open floor space just behind the club level seats that surround the south end of the facility. In 2006, the Alamodome underwent an expansion to accommodate 14 new luxury suites, increasing the number of suites to 52. The Sports Club and the Top of the Dome restaurant also received renovations in 2004.

The Alamodome has two permanent Olympic-size ice rinks that can be used for NHL games, figure skating and speed skating. The facility also contains of meeting rooms and of continuous exhibit space.

Events and tenants

The Alamodome was home to the NBA San Antonio Spurs from 1993 to 2002 and the CFL San Antonio Texans in 1995. The facility also hosts special events such as the annual Alamo Bowl football game, NCAA basketball and volleyball tournament games, and the men's and women's basketball Final Four (men's 1998, 2004, 2008; women's 2002, 2010). Other NCAA events including the 1997, 1999 and 2007 Big 12 Championship Games were played in the facility. The 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival held some of the first ever paid events in the Alamodome in July and August 1993, including the opening and closing ceremonies and ice skating events. The 1996 NBA All-Star Game was played in the Alamodome, and the facility hosted WWF Royal Rumble in 1997. The now-defunct San Antonio Dragons of the International Hockey League played some games in 1997 and 1998 at the Alamodome when its home, Freeman Coliseummarker, was unavailable during the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (a similar scheduling conflict the Spurs now face at the new AT&T Center). The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) has held two Built Ford Tough Series events in the Alamodome (2007, 2008). Two 2005 InterLiga soccer matches took place in the Alamodome on January 6, 2005. The facility also was one of three "home" stadiums for the displaced NFL New Orleans Saints during the 2005 NFL season and was also the Dallas Cowboys' training camp site in 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2009.

State high school football playoff games are regularly held in the Alamodome, including championship games.

On July 20, 2000, Britney Spears came to the Alamodome on her Oops!... I Did It Again World Tour. Tickets sold out quickly. She returned to the arena on her Dream Within a Dream Tour on June 15, 2002.

From July 5 to 16, 2006, the Alamodome hosted the 2006 ELCA Youth Gathering. Approximately 40,000 youth and adult leaders attended the event between the two weeks it was spread.

Every summer Drum Corps International hosts its DCI San Antonio – Southwestern Championships at the Alamodome.

The Alamodome also hosts the Bands of America Super-Regional Championships every year in November, as well as the University Interscholastic League State Marching Band Contest.

NBA basketball

The San Antonio Spurs moved to the Alamodome from HemisFair Arenamarker after the 1992-93 NBA season. The Spurs played nine seasons in the Alamodome, including during their first NBA championship season, which was played against the New York Knicks in 1999. Attendance was 39,514 for Game 1 of the 1999 NBA Finals and 39,554 for Game 2.

During the regular season, most of the upper level was curtained off. However, the Spurs opened 3 portions of the upper level expanding capacity to 35,000+.

Though the late 1990s saw the Spurs soar to unprecedented popularity, the decision was made to move the team out of the spacious stadium and build a new arena. Even though the Spurs were the primary tenants, the Alamodome was designed for football, and Spurs management and fans had grown increasingly dissatisfied with its poor sight lines and cavernous feel. Moving the team out of the Alamodome also opened up more contiguous dates allowing the facility to schedule more conventions, which over time have proven to be more profitable for the facility and for the city economy as well. The Spurs moved to the SBC Center (now the AT&T Centermarker) after the 2001-2002 season.

Football

Alamo Bowl

The Alamodome is the site of the annual Alamo Bowl, which usually matches the fourth-choice (not necessarily fourth-place) teams from the Big Ten Conference and the Big 12 Conference. The 2006 Alamo Bowl between the Texas Longhorns and the Iowa Hawkeyes was attended by 65,875, which set a facility-record crowd for a sporting event, 2006 Alamo Bowl attendance ranks as the #1 all-time sports attendence in Alamodome history, The San Antonio Bowl Association, December 30, 2006. only to have that record broken by an Alamo Bowl event the next year between Texas A&Mmarker and Penn Statemarker, which drew 66,166 attendees.

Canadian Football League

The Alamodome was also home to the San Antonio Texans for the 1995 CFL season. The stadium was attractive to the Canadian Football League (which made an ill-fated attempt to expand to the U.S. between 1993 and 1995) since it could accommodate the CFL's larger playing field. In the first CFL playoff game ever played between two U.S.-based franchises, the Texans defeated the Birmingham Barracudas 52-9 at the Alamodome on November 5, The team then lost to the Baltimore Stallions 21-11 in Baltimore on November 11. The Texans folded after the 1995 season due to low attendance, financial problems, and the disbanding of the other U.S. teams.

Corps Classic

September 16, 2006, marked the first game in a college football "home and home" series, known as the AT&T Corps Classic, between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Army Black Knights. Army has elected to play its "home" game at the Alamodome in order to increase the program's exposure around the nation, as it competes as an independent. A sell-out crowd of 64,583 watched the Aggies defeat the Black Knights 28-24. The second game was played at Kyle Fieldmarker in College Stationmarker in 2008.

East-West Shrine Game

The 2006 East-West Shrine Game was played in the Alamodome on January 21, 2006. The game is an annual post-season college football all-star game. For most of its history, the game has been played in the San Francisco Bay Areamarker, at San Francisco's Kezar Stadiummarker and at Stanford Stadiummarker. In recent years it has been played at SBC Parkmarker. In 2006, the game was played in the Alamodome, moving out of the San Francisco area for the first time in decades. The Shrine Game was moved once again for its 2007 event, to Robertson Stadiummarker in Houston, Texasmarker.

National Football League

The Alamodome has played host to six NFL preseason games. Two each were played in 1993 and 1994, one in 1995, and one in 2001.

  • August 7, 1993 – Houston Oilers (28) vs. New Orleans Saints (37) – Attendance: 40,308
  • August 21, 1993 – Dallas Cowboys (20) vs. Houston Oilers (23) – Attendance: 63,285
  • August 6, 1994 – Houston Oilers (31) vs. San Diego Chargers (3) – Attendance: 29,815
  • August 20, 1994 – Buffalo Bills (18) vs. Houston Oilers (16) – Attendance: 40,504
  • August 26, 1995 – Dallas Cowboys (10) vs. Houston Oilers (0) – Attendance: 52,512
  • August 11, 2001 – Minnesota Vikings (28) vs. New Orleans Saints (21) – Attendance: 46,752


In 2005, the NFL announced that the Alamodome would host three of the New Orleans Saints regular season "home" games due to the damage caused to the Louisiana Superdomemarker by Hurricane Katrina. The Saints played the Buffalo Bills (week 4), the Atlanta Falcons (week 6), and the Detroit Lions (week 16) at the Alamodome. Although there have been many NFL preseason and exhibition games held in San Antonio over the years, these games were the first NFL regular season games played in the city. The Saints also played one 2005 season "home" game in Giants Stadiummarker (against the New York Giants) in East Rutherford, New Jerseymarker, and four others in LSUmarker's Tiger Stadiummarker in Baton Rouge, Louisianamarker. Overall, the Saints averaged 62,665 fans in the 65,000-seat Alamodome for the three games held there, a solid showing despite the short notice to sell tickets due to the hurricane. The Saints and the NFL announced that the team would return to Louisiana for the 2006 season even though at the time the NFL was uncertain where they would play their home games. Additionally, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue indicated that if the NFL expands again, San Antonio would be on the short list of candidate cities. Even though public opinion is that he would never let go of the Cowboys-crazed San Antonio market, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has acknowledged his support for the city's efforts to become home to an NFL franchise.

  • October 2, 2005 – Buffalo Bills (7) vs. New Orleans Saints (19) – Attendance: 58,688
  • October 16, 2005 – Atlanta Falcons (34) vs. New Orleans Saints (31) – Attendance: 65,562 (attendance set the facility record for a sporting event at the time; it has been subsequently surpassed by two Alamo Bowl events)
  • December 24, 2005 – Detroit Lions (13) vs. New Orleans Saints (12) – Attendance: 63,747


The Dallas Cowboys held their 2002, 2003, and 2009 preseason training camps at the Alamodome, and will continue to do so through 2011.

Texas Football Classic

Since 1999, the Alamodome has been home to the Texas Football Classic, which kicks off the high school football season in Texas. Now in its eighth year, the event has expanded to five games, featuring prominent high school programs from across the state. Former participants include former Chicago Bears and University of Texas running back Cedric Benson, University of Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, University of Houstonmarker quarterback Kevin Kolb, and University of Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel.

U.S. Army All-American Bowl

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played each January. The bowl game features the nation's top 80 high school football players in an East vs. West match-up and is televised by NBC. Past games have included players like Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and Brady Quinn. and Tim Tebow. The inaugural game was played on December 30, 2000, at Highlander Stadium at Highland Park High Schoolmarker in Dallas, Texasmarker. The bowl game was then moved to San Antonio, where the 2002 match was played in front of an Alamo Stadiummarker crowd. The 2003 game was moved to the Alamodome, where it has been played since.

Renovations

On April 15, 2005, the San Antonio City Council voted to spend close to $6.5 million to renovate the Alamodome in an effort to lure a Major League Soccer franchise to the city. After the election of Phil Hardberger as the new mayor, those efforts were abandoned, though the approved renovations to the facility will continue as planned. The city administration and local business leaders have re-focused their efforts to bringing an NFL franchise to San Antonio.

On April 19, 2007, the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved an additional $8.3 million to fund renovations and enhancements to the facility.

Although when the Alamodome was built it was an ideal state-of-the-art NFL stadium, by today's standards the facility would have to undergo renovations and add a considerable number of luxury suites in order to make it a profitable venue for an NFL team. Preliminary estimates put the cost of improvements at $100-150 million.

Future events and tenants

Aside from the annual Alamo Bowl and certain high school events, future events scheduled for the Alamodome include the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four. In addition, the Dallas Cowboys preseason training camps will be held each summer in the Alamodome from 2007 to 2011.

The Alamodome will be the home stadium for the University of Texas at San Antoniomarker football team which received approval to begin a football team in 2008. The team is expected to play its first game as an NCAA Division I-FCS independent in August 2011.

Record crowds

Top 10 all-time Alamodome sports crowds (as of December 30, 2007):
Rank Attendance Event Date
1 66,166 2007 Alamo Bowl (Penn State vs. Texas A&M) Dec. 29, 2007
2 65,875 2006 Alamo Bowl (Texas vs. Iowa) Dec. 30, 2006
3 65,562 Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints (2005 NFL regular season game) Oct. 16, 2005
4 65,380 1999 Alamo Bowl (Penn State vs. Texas A&M) Dec. 28, 1999
5 65,265 2004 Alamo Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Ohio State) Dec. 29, 2004
6 65,232 2001 Alamo Bowl (Iowa vs. Texas Tech) Dec. 29, 2001
7 65,035 1999 Big 12 Championship (Texas vs. Nebraska ) Dec. 4, 1999
8 64,824 1997 Big 12 Championship (Texas A&M vs. Nebraska) Dec. 6, 1997
9 64,597 1995 Alamo Bowl (Michigan vs. Texas A&M) Dec. 28, 1995
10 64,583 2006 Corps Classic (Texas A&M vs. Army) Sept. 16, 2006


Other notable attendance marks include:

References

  1. Michael Jordan wins the MVP, as the East prevails in San Antonio, NBA.com.
  2. MySA.com: Big 12
  3. Football: Cowboys' Jones backs S.A. team, MySA.com, May 5, 2006.
  4. Saints clean up against Bills, 19-7, The Associated Press.
  5. Haslett steams after Falcons get two shots at FG, victory, The Associated Press.
  6. Harrington, Lions edge Saints for first win under Jauron, The Associated Press.
  7. Texas Football Classic announces 2006 lineup, Texas Football, March 3, 2006.
  8. U.S. Army All-American Bowl Alumni, U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
  9. 2000 U.S. Army-All American Bowl, Scout.com.
  10. 2002 U.S. Army-All American Bowl, Scout.com.
  11. http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=293040087
  12. 2004 National College Basketball Attendance (PDF), NCAA.
  13. 1998 National College Basketball Attendance (PDF), NCAA.
  14. [1], FIFA.
  15. 1996 All-Star Game Boxscore, NBA Encyclopedia.
  16. 2001-02 NCAA Women's Basketball Attendance (PDF), NCAA.
  17. Texans game report. San Antonio Express-News, August 13, 1995.


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