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The HemisFair Arena was an indoor arena located in San Antonio, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker. It was home to the National Basketball Association's San Antonio Spurs from 1973 to 1993 and the San Antonio Force of the Arena Football League during the 1992 season, their only year of existence. The Houston Rockets also played home games at the arena during the 1972-73 NBA season.

History

Construction

The arena was originally built as part of the 1968 HemisFair. The facility was located near the Tower of the Americasmarker, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. HemisFair Arena and the Tower of the Americas were constructed by a joint venture of two contractors--Lyda Inc. of San Antonio, Texas and H. A. Lott, Inc. of Houston, Texas.

As home of the San Antonio Spurs

The arena initially held 10,146 fans for basketball. The San Antonio Spurs played their first ever game at the arena at 10 October, 1973 which they lost to the San Diego Conquistadors 121-106 in front of a 5,879 crowd. As Spurs games began regularly selling out, the roof of arena was literally raised and lifted during the summer of 1977, adding an upper deck at the facility and allowing for a capacity of over 16,057. While the renovation boosted capacity, it did result in a large number of obstructed view seats in the lower levels due to the support beams required for the upper deck. Throughout its lifespan, it was considered one of the loudest arenas in the NBA.

Celebrites who appeared at HemisFair Arena

Some of the many celebrities who appeared at HemisFair Arena: Bob Hope (with Marilyn Maxwell), Elvis Presley, Reverend Billy Graham, George Strait, The Judds, James Brown, Jack Benny, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bo Diddley, Creedence Clearwater Revival & T. G. Sheppard, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Willie Nelson, Van Halen, Rolling Stones.

Final events

HemisFair Arena was torn down in 1995, two years after the Spurs moved to the Alamodomemarker in 1993. The last Spurs game to ever take place at HemisFair took place on May 20, 1993 when the Spurs lost to the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the NBA playoffs. The last ticketed event to be held at the facility was a 1995 Van Halen concert. The last event to ever be held at the HemisFair Arena was a High School graduation for a local high school, Thomas Jefferson High School, on May 30, 1995.

The site is now the location of an expansion to the adjacent Henry B.marker Gonzalez Convention Centermarker.

References

  1. Key Dates in Spurs History
  2. http://www.insidearenas.com/western/AT&TCenter.htm AT&T CENTER]



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