The City of San Antonio has just completed renovations on the 1993-era Alamodome. The 64,000 seat dome with sprawling parking lot sits just the east side of I-37 from downtown. The nearly quarter century old dome was widely seen as being in need of updating, and the city has done that. Mayor Ron Nirenberg noted to the 100-person crowd the kinds of events they targeted the 60 million dollars in renovations to attract.
"Of course we're excited, thrilled to be welcoming the 2018 Final Four to San Antonio. Hope you all enjoy that" he said to applause.
City Manager Sheryl Scully notes the just-under-a-year project did exactly what they hoped it would.
"The project has been completed on time and within budget. And even more impressive is the fact that this was completed while we kept the building fully operating."
Nirenberg agreed with her, hearkening back to a concert he went to during construction.
"I can attest to the no disruption, in fact, it was in the middle of that construction that we all enjoyed the Metallica concert."
Scully says the funding for the improvements come from a series of financial mechanisms.
"We're able to fund the expansion of the Alamodome through revenues generated here through the project. Our convention and sports facilities...are a restricted fund, so our hotel occupancy tax, our parking revenue and fees that users who use the facility are what pays for the operations of these facilities. So no general property tax dollars or sales tax dollars from the local community were used for this project."
Nirenberg thinks what most people will notice first are improved audio and visuals, or AV.
"I think the most stunning new addition to this is the AV. People will notice it when they walk in. That's what connotes the modern era of stadiums and arenas and that is what is now here in the Alamodome."
There are four 34 by 60-feet high screens for video, and electronically-programmable ribbons encircling the interior seating areas. LA state of the art control production facility feeds those screens and ribbons with content.
You can find out more about the Alamodome here.