In their return to the Alamodome, the Spurs attracted the largest crowd ever for an NBA regular-season game, with 68,323 people attending Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs were celebrating their 50th anniversary season there.
At the conclusion of the third quarter, NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson made the official attendance announcement. “Spurs fans have again set the standard for the league,” Robinson stated.
The chants “Go Spurs, go!” by fans began. “Go Spurs, go!” following the announcement
It broke the previous record of 62,046 people who attended the March 27, 1998, game between Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome.
“It was awesome,” Warriors star Stephen Curry said of the atmosphere. “… It was cool to see them recognize their 50-year history and all of the great moments that have gone into this organization, the successes and championships they’ve had and the greats that were in the building. It was awesome to experience and it just takes 64,000 to bring our best road performance of the year.”
After losing to the Suns with a short roster, the Warriors won by a score of 144-113 to ruin the Spurs’ night. In his second game since returning from a lengthy absence due to a shoulder injury, Curry scored 15 points in 23 minutes.
“Obviously, I hate to lose. But with the turnout, how can you be mad?” Spurs forward Keldon Johnson said. “The Spurs fan base surpassed anything we could imagine. That made tonight special.”
Becky Hammon and Tony Parker were seen sitting together courtside, while Manu Ginobili was in a suite, in addition to Robinson, who was present. Steve Kerr, who played for the Spurs and won two championships, said he got emotional during a video tribute to him before the game.
“They played the video and introduced me, and to get an ovation from 68,000 fans gives you chills,” Kerr said. “This was a really special night … Feeling the way I did, I know how fortunate I was to be a part of the Spurs.”
As part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary celebration, San Antonio returned to the Alamodome. The team now plays its home games at the AT&T Center.
The opportunity to play at the Alamodome provided fans with a chance to relive a previous era for the team, despite the fact that the Spurs’ (13-29) season is one of the worst in franchise history.
“The fans enjoyed themselves, even though we were getting our ass kicked,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “They seemed to be having a hell of a time, so there must have been a lot of beer sales out there.”
In 1973, the team first played at the HemisFair Arena, but it eventually moved to the Alamodome to become one of the NBA’s most prestigious teams.
From 1993 to 2002, the Spurs played at the Alamodome before moving 3.1 miles south to the AT&T Center.
In 1999, San Antonio won its first NBA championship while playing in the Alamodome and celebrated the victory in the downtown facility.
“Having my son here with me sharing a past and present memory will be cherished by both of us for years,” said Spurs fan Eric Hernandez, who previously attended games at the Alamodome.
Additionally, the Alamodome played host to the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, at which Shaquille O’Neal defeated former San Antonio resident Shaquille Jordan to win MVP.
Japanese Spurs fan Taro Kotani commented, “It’s crazy.” The number of people present. Since I have never been inside the Dome, just thinking about what it was like during the All-Star Game in 1996 and the Finals in 1999 makes me feel so nostalgic. Although I was not present, this brings back numerous memories.
Because he wanted to be a part of history, Kotani planned his annual trip to San Antonio around the game on Friday.