A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
The First Act Of The No-Mad Saints Takes Place This Sunday
SAN ANTONIO, TX. — This Sunday the curtain rises for one of the most historic sporting events in this city’s history. At noon on October 2nd, the opening act of whether NFL football is a viable entertainment source in this town. As of this writing, people were standing in line for their $20 tailgating permits for very limited parking in a parking lot in the Alamodome and there are still roughly 15,000 tickets still available for Sunday’s game. The certainty of the first act of this play is the fact that the game will not be seen locally on television. Yet that is just the tip of the iceberg of this three-part soliloquy.
For several years many have been under the assumption that San Antonio is ripe for an NFL team. With the three games here, the opportunities to expose South Texas to NFL football is what should be the paramount factor and on Sunday this should be the dress rehearsal to showing the NFL community that this city is ready. Yet the only game that has truly been a sell out of late is the Oct. 16th game with the Atlanta Falcons. There are only 5,000 tickets left for that game. Next to the over 14,000 for this Sunday’s game that is left, there are about 40,000 tickets available for the Christmas Eve game.
So what’s the problem with ticket sales? In this three part sonnet that can be called “S.A.’s Big Chance For Big Time Sports”, why are city, county and corporate leaders practically pleading with the public in trying to get them to buy tickets? Because the only success factor that these individuals see is the amount of tickets being bought as their only true shot at luring a team here. Instead of this theatrical performance ending on three very good notes, we are looking at a tragedy in the making. What the city, county and corporate leaders must realize is that in this town, football will be difficult to sell no matter what sales gimmick their experts may draft up.
When you look at the grand scheme of professional sports in this town, the San Antonio Spurs still take precedence in this town. There are some 12,000 individuals in this city who have either already bought their season ticket package for the upcoming NBA season or they are in the process of doing so. The decision for that part of their ‘disposable’ income was made long before Hurricane Katrina washed this football opportunity upon the city leaders. These are the same 12,000 individuals who may have bought up most of the 14,000 tickets that are left over for Sunday, the remaining 5,000 tickets for Oct. 16th and a large amount for Dec. 24th. You also need to factor in the sheer economics of THIS city as to why things are not proceeding to plan.
So what is the alternative or solution to what seems to be a serious problem in this city’s quest for NFL acceptance? Probably the best solution for San Antonio’s quest is to not think of this venture as a “San Antonio” solution but as a South Texas opportunity. What the leaders of San Antonio should have done from the very beginning was bring in Austin’s city government leaders and others from around the South Texas corridor. Ironically they are pursuing such a measure now but this is something that should have been in the works some ten years ago.
Yet that is another play to be heard on a different billing date. Right now the first act of this great drama unfolds on Sunday and whether the game is shown on local television or not should be the furthest thought from anyone’s mind. If the blackout doesn’t happen, the city’s leaders who are pushing this project need to simply regroup, make Oct. 16th the opening night and then work on making Dec. 24th a closing success that could land this town more than just a NFL franchise but maybe a spot in the Superbowl rotation.