San Antonio (AP) – The San Antonio Spurs return to the Alamodome with 68,323 in attendance, a record for an NBA regular-season game.
The Spurs, celebrating their 50th anniversary season, They returned to their old home Friday night to face the Golden State Warriors.
Late in the third quarter, Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson announced his official arrival. Robinson said, “Spurs fans have once again set the standard for the league.”
Fans chanted “Go Spurs Go! Go Spurs Go!” After notification.
It broke the previous record of 62,046 people who gathered at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998 to see Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks.
“Yeah, that’s pretty weird,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of the record-setting crowd. “It’s an atmosphere where you know … are they selling alcohol? I think people are going to be really fired up. It’s an exciting moment for everybody. It’s nostalgic for everybody. To have that many people in a building, to play in front of them, is really exciting. Hopefully it’s going to be a good game. ” said.
San Antonio now plays its home games at the AT&T Center, but returned to the Alamodome as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary celebration.
While the Spurs (13-29) are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the chance to play in the Alamodome gave fans a chance to relive a former era for the team.
“Having my son with me to share a memory, past and present, that we’ll both cherish for years to come,” said Eric Hernandez, a Spurs fan who has attended games at the Alamodome in the past.
The franchise began at Hemisphere Arena in 1973, but the Alamodome took its first steps toward becoming one of the most respected NBA franchises.
The Spurs played in the Alamodome from 1993 to 2002 and moved 3.1 miles south to the AT&T Center.
San Antonio won its first NBA championship in 1999 playing in the Alamodome and held its championship celebration at the downtown facility.
The Alamodome also hosted the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, where Michael Jordan was cheered for the MVP win over former San Antonio resident Shaquille O’Neal.
“It’s crazy,” said Taro Kotani, a Spurs fan visiting from Japan. “The amount of people here. I’ve never been inside the Dome, so it’s nostalgic to imagine what it was like here during the ’96 All-Star Game and the ’99 Finals. I wasn’t there, but it brings back a lot of memories.
Kotani planned his annual trip to San Antonio for Friday’s game because he wanted to be a part of history.