Music - China Grove by the Doobie Brothers ... China Grove is a San Antonio suburb.
Photographed in 1989, 1990 and 1994 using film.
I apologize for the some blurry photos and under exposed shots. I took some of these in 1989 and I didn't realize that my film camera was malfunctioning.
HemisFair Arena - Opened in 1968, closed in 1995 and demolished in the fall of 1995.
Location - 601 HemisFair Way San Antonio, Texas
The first home for the NBA San Antonio Spurs was the HemisFair Arena. Actually, the arena was built in 1968 for the HemisFair, the first Worlds Fair to be held in the southwest. The most famous landmark from the Fair is the still standing, Tower of the Americas, which is located just to the southeast of where the arena stood.
The Dallas / Texas Chaparrals of the old ABA were basketball nomads. They played ALL over north Texas, from Dallas to Waco to Ft. Worth to Lubbock. In 1973, the team finally found a permanent home in San Antonio. They changed their name and team colors and quickly became the San Antonio Spurs. After the ABA folded in 1976, the Spurs were absorbed into the NBA along with the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets.
The arena held just over 10,000 when the Spurs moved in. They lost their first game at the arena on October 10, 1973. The San Diego Conquistadors beat the Spurs 121 - 106 in front of just under 6,000 fans. Soon, basketball would be off and running in the Alamo city. In the summer of 1977, the city of San Antonio expanded the arena by literally raising the roof and adding an upper deck, and 6,000 more seats. It was a good but controversial move, as to support the new addition, columns were added. That led to quite a few obstructed view seats. The arena was known as one of the LOUDEST in the NBA. The Spurs regularly sold out games. After 20 fun filled seasons, the Spurs moved across the street to the brand new Alamodome. The final NBA contest was held on May 20, 1993. It was game 6 of the 1993 NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals. The Spurs lost to the Suns on a last second jump shot by Charles Barkley.
The last paying event to be held under the HemisFair roof was a 1995 Van Halen Concert. The final event was a high school graduation on May 30, 1995. Shortly after, demolition would begin.
The site is now used as an expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. BUT to thousands of Spurs fans, it will always be their first home.