A little over a week ago, the New York Times published a story about how a team from a neighboring town in Vietnam was interested in buying a new stadium in the city of Phuong Phu, and how the team’s owners were hoping to get $10,000 per home ticket sold for a new, larger stadium.
But the team was a little more than a month away from actually getting its new digs built, and the team owners still had to prove their stadium was worth the money and land investment.
So how did the team end up signing with the city and county in order to have the new stadium built?
“We got a letter from a local official,” said Tim St. Louis, the team owner and the founder of the San Antonio Spurs.
“They asked us, ‘Why are you doing this?’
And we said, ‘Well, we’re building a stadium.
And we need the money, so we’re doing it.'”
In the process of getting the new arena built, the Spurs were able to secure a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“The grant allows the team to purchase the land and build the stadium,” St. Luke said.
“It was a very big deal, and I think it helped them to get that $20M, and to get the team there and to move forward.”
The grant was meant to help pay for construction of a new home for the team.
“If you’ve got a new building, it’s not a good investment if you have to build it on your own property,” St Louis said.
“But in this case, we have a building that’s being constructed in San Antonio, and we need to pay a lot of money to build a new facility.
And that’s the only way we can do it, so, we really thought that this would be a great way to help.”
The San Antonio team and the county were both on board.
We were able, in a very short amount of time, to make a very good deal.
The deal was worth about $100 million, which was a bargain for a project that could not have been done without HUD’s help.
The team, St. Lluis said, was thrilled with the deal.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to make money, to do something we’d never done before.
So we did it,” he said.
The team and city of San Antonio were able “to go from $10 to $100M,” Stiles said.
And the city is now planning a “mini-vacation” to the new facility, with St. Louie hosting a private dinner for the new players, coaches and other members of the Spurs organization.
In order to do all of this, however, the project has come at a significant cost to the city.
The $20,000 annual cost of the grant is not enough to cover the costs of the stadium and its infrastructure, St Louis explained.
The grant was only available for construction, not renovation, and thus, “we’re not going to be able to do anything in the new building until we can put the money in the bank,” he added.
“It’s a huge amount of money.
It’s a significant amount of debt.
And so it’s going to take a long time to get back to where we want to be,” St Louie said.