The media is the message, as we were warned a half-century ago. In the 21st century multisocialmedia environment you don’t even need an object or action behind the media, because once it gets legs it keeps running despite having not one toehold in the real world. And I’m not talking about Barbie.
Our efforts to save the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) building, a Brutalist masterpiece and unique showpiece for celebrating Texas’ syncretic culture, are a challenge. But now the challenge is being exacerbated by the media, Scan of the local media the last two weeks and you will get 3 or 4 articles about building new sports stadiums downtown for the San Antonio Spurs (NBA) and San Antonio Missions (Minor League baseball). The ITC site in frequently mentioned for a baseball stadium, as it was back in 2014-16.
It’s not a baseball game unless there are C-4s landing every 15 minutes.
Every one of the articles – whether newsy or opiniony – notes that the downtown stadium idea will require a big public subsidy. The Spurs have already enjoyed three publicly funded stadiums and just this week sold the naming rights to the current one to Frost Bank. They just landed Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 draft pick and are once again the hottest ticket in town. In fact, it was that fact – that led to the overheated discussion of a downtown sports center.
Is this the Spurs idea? Why choose this time to announce a new name for a stadium whose naming rights expired a year ago? Why show off your new training facility when you could be pitching for a new stadium?
This would not be the first time the Express-News put their stamp on a proposal and turned up the heat. They did it with the Alamo five years ago. The Express-News filed a FOIA request to find out about Spurs and Missions meeting(s) with the city, but we don’t know who initiated those.
Plus, it is August, which is historically light on news and 103 in the shade. You still gotta talk when there is nothing to talk about.
POSTSCRIPT (August 14): Buy one nothing burger get another free! Gotta love this headline: “Alamodome, Hemisfair, Lone Star: Social media buzzing on downtown sites for Spurs, Missions venues” Since we can’t get a real statement, let’s just look at all the fact-free comments we spawned!
POSTPOSTSCRIPT (August 24): Well, now it turns out it was the City that approached the Spurs, perhaps even before Wemby. Spurs comments to date? Nada. Zilch. Gar nichts. But the articles keep coming nonetheless!!
POSTPOSTPOSTSCRIPT (November 5, appropriately) Well, the Sunday headline was another breathless screed of “likely” and “appears” regarding a downtown Spurs stadium without any actual quotes from the Spurs or the city or the county. You want fries with that nothingburger?