The Spurs set an NBA attendance record of 68,323 at the Alamodome

The Spurs set an NBA attendance record of 68,323 at the Alamodome

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  • January 14, 2023
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Spurs had the largest crowd ever for an NBA regular-season game on their return to the Alamodome with 68,323 for Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors

Spurs returned to their former home to celebrate their 50th anniversary season.

Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson officially announced attendance at the end of the third quarter. Robinson said: “Spurs fans have once again set the standard for the league.”

The fans started chanting, “Go Spurs, go! Go Spurs, go!” following the announcement.

It broke the previous record of 62,046 who gathered to watch Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998.

“It was great,” Warriors star Stephen Curry said of the atmosphere. “…It was cool to see them acknowledging their 50 year history and all the great moments that went into this organization, the successes and championships that they had and the greats that were in the building. It was great to experience and it only takes 64,000 to achieve our best road performance of the year.”

The Warriors, who lost to the undermanned Suns, hit back with a 144-113 win to spoil the Spurs’ evening. Curry had 15 points in 23 minutes in his second game back from an extended absence due to a shoulder injury.

“Of course I hate to lose, but how can you be mad at the turnout?” Spurs striker Keldon Johnson said. “The Spurs fanbase was beyond anything we could have imagined. That made the night special.”

In addition to Robinson, other Spurs luminaries were in attendance as Becky Hammon and Tony Parker sat together on the sidelines while Manu Ginobili sat in a suite. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who won two championships as a player with Spurs, 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 is chilling,” Kerr said. “It was a really special night… The way I feel I know how lucky I was to be a part of Spurs.”

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 celebrations.

While the Spurs (13-29) are having one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the chance to play at the Alamodome gave fans a chance to relive an earlier era for the team.

“The fans had fun even when we got our ass kicked,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “They seemed to be having a lot of fun, so there must have been a lot of beer sales out there.”

The franchise began in 1973 at the HemisFair Arena, but it was at the Alamodome that the franchise took its first steps to become one of the most respected NBA franchises.

The Spurs played at the Alamodome from 1993 to 2002 before moving 3.1 miles south to the AT&T Center.

San Antonio won its first NBA championship in 1999 while playing at the Alamodome and held its championship celebration downtown.

“Having my son here with me and sharing a past and present memory will be one that will stay with us both for years to come,” said Spurs fan Eric Hernandez, who previously attended games at the Alamodome.

The Alamodome also hosted the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, where Jordan was booed for winning MVP against 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 to the Dome, so just imagining what it was like here during the 1996 All-Star Game and 1999 Finals is so nostalgic. I wasn’t there but it brings back a lot of memories.”

Kotani planned his annual trip to San Antonio around Friday’s game because he wanted to be a part of the story.

The Associated Press and ESPN’s Kendra Andrews contributed to this story.

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