A Guide to San Antonio’s Professional Sports Teams

Just like the rest of Texas, the city of San Antonio is serious about its sports teams. Between basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer, fans have plenty of action to keep up with. Take a look at the following list outlining the main professional sports organizations located in San Antonio.

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San Antonio Spurs NBA Basketball at the AT&T Center. Photo credit: Katie Haugland via Foter.com / CC BY

San Antonio Spurs – NBA

Five-time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, own the hearts of local sports fans in the area. Founded in 1967, the team began as a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) under the name the “Dallas Chaparrals.;” however, it wasn’t until 1973 that the franchise would relocate to San Antonio and be dubbed the “Spurs.” Just three years later, the Spurs would finally be admitted into the National Basketball Association (NBA )and the team participated in its first official NBA league game in October of 1976 against the Philadelphia 76ers, bringing home a victory of 121-118.

This first victory was just the beginning for the Spurs, who in time would be called home by some of basketball’s greatest players including George “The Iceman” Gervin (1974-1985), Dennis Rodman (1993-1995), David Robinson (1989-2003), Tim Duncan (1997-2016), Tony Parker (2001-Present) and plenty of others (note: dates indicate playing career while playing for San Antonio). The Spurs most recent NBA Championship came in 2007, leaving fans in San Antonio wondering: When will we see the City’s next championship run?

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San Antonio Stars WNBA Basketball. Photo credit: RedTail_Panther via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

San Antonio Stars – WNBA

Originally founded as the “Utah Starzz” in 1997, the now San Antonio Stars were one of the original eight teams to form the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). In 2002, the team was sold to a new owner and relocated to San Antonio as the “Silver Stars,” before eventually being renamed once again as just the “Stars” in 2014. The team’s new colors upon arriving in San Antonio would become black and silver, meant as a connection to the men’s team, the San Antonio Spurs. Some of the Stars most well-known players have included Margo Dydek (1998-2008), Becky Hammon (1999-2014) Shanna Crossley (2006-2010), Sophia Young (2006-2015) and Danielle Robinson (2011-present) (note: dates indicate playing career in the WNBA).

While the Stars have yet to win a WNBA final, they did bring home a conference championship in 2008. As one of the 12 teams currently in the WNBA, the Stars are a member of the Western Conference in the playoff structure. The team also happens to be one of the five professional sports franchises owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment.

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San Antonio Missions Baseball at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium. Photo credit: nan palmero via Foter.com / CC BY

San Antonio Missions – Minor League Baseball

Since 2007, the San Antonio Missions have been the minor league Double-A affiliate to MLB’s San Diego Padres. In its early history, the team had also been known by many different names including the “Missionaries,” the “Gentleman,” the “Bronchos,” the “Aces,” the “Bears,” the “Indians,” the “Bullets,” the “Brewers,” and the “Dodgers.” The team is currently part of the Texas League in the South Division, and they’ve compiled 21 Division titles, 13 League titles, and one Dixie Series title in 1950. In all, more than 700 former San Antonio players have gone on to reach the Major Leagues with some of the most notable including Mike Piazza and Pedro Martínez.

The Missions’ home field is at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, which opened in 1994 and holds over 9,000 fans with 6,200 seats. To pay tribute to its local San Antonio heritage, the team’s logo features the famous historical site, the Alamo, and the team’s mascot is called “Ballapeño,” a baseball-playing jalapeño.

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San Antonio Rampage Ice Hockey. Photo credit: Erik J. Gustafson via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

San Antonio Rampage – American Hockey League (AHL)

In 2002, the Spurs Sports & Entertainment Company purchased a dormant AHL (American Hockey League) franchise with the NHL’s (National Hockey League) Florida Panthers, moving the team to San Antonio and forming the San Antonio Rampage. The team currently serves as the top affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. The team was originally nicknamed the San Antonio Stampede, but was later changed to the Rampage. Other Texas ice hockey teams who rival the Rampage include the Texas Stars and the Houston Aeros.

The team is now part of the Western Conference in the Pacific Division, and during the 2014-2015 season the Rampage brought home a Division Championship. Prior to the opening of the Rampage franchise, San Antonio had been the home to the San Antonio Iguanas of the CHL (Central Hockey League) from 1994-1997 and 1998-2002 and the San Antonio Dragons of the IHL (International Hockey League) from 1996-1998. The Rampage play in the AT&T Center, also home to the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Stars.

San Antonio Scorpions at Toyota Field, prior to the franchising of the San Antonio FC. Photo Credit: Tcardone05 via Wiki Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0

San Antonio FC – United Soccer League (USL)

The newest of all of San Antonio’s professional sports teams, the San Antonio FC was recently franchised in January 2016 as the 31st member of the USL (United Soccer League). With plans to expand the franchise into the MLS (Major League Soccer), the team was concurrently bought by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County along with the purchase of Toyota Field, which the team now calls their home field with a capacity of 8,296 fans. Toyota Field is expected to be expanded in the coming years to over 18,000 seats. In their first inaugural season, the San Antonio FC finished 10th in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Prior to the founding of the San Antonio FC, another NASL (North American Soccer league) team called San Antonio and Toyota Field its home: the San Antonio Scorpions. The Scorpions were founded in 2010, then dissolved in 2015 to make way for the franchising of the FC.

For more information about many of the professional San Antonio sports team, visit Spurs Sports & Entertainment. You can also visit any of the individual franchise pages to find out more about game schedules and ticket information:

Planning a Trip to San Antonio

Thinking about planning your next getaway? Think outside the norm and forget the ideas of your typical beach or tropical destination. Think bigger, think Texas. Known for being the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio is a city full of life and full of excitement. With a history rich in Spanish heritage and Tex-Mex culture, there are a countless number of 18th century missions and churches spread around throughout the area, including the Alamo. Additionally, San Antonio is known for being the home of the famous River Walk, which flows along the banks for the San Antonio River. To find out even more about this Texas city, read on to learn more tips on places to stay, where to dine, and how to spend your time during your visit.

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The San Antonio Skyline. Photo credit: nan palmero via Foter.com / CC BY

Places to Stay in San Antonio

After a nice relaxing stroll along the River Walk or a long day kayaking on the river, you’ll want a comfortable place to rest your head at night. From ranches, hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), and inns, to campgrounds, RV parks, and vacation rentals, San Antonio has a wide variety of lodging options for every preference. Here are a few of the most popular places to stay in San Antonio.

Hotel Emma

Located right near Pearl’s culinary campus, Hotel Emma is a boutique hotel filled with its own restaurant, bar, and room service options that prove that Pearl truly is the “center of culinary discover.” With 146 rooms, this hotel was designed by architects Roman and Williams who looked to promote the iconic 19th century Brew House along with its industrial appeal.

To book your stay and learn more, visit Hotel Emma.

Dixie Dude Ranch

If you’re looking to embrace the true Texas lifestyle, a trip to the Dixie Dude Ranch will be sure to help you find your “inner cowboy” (or cowgirl). Built in 1937, the Ranch is made up of 20 separate units within duplex cabins, cottages, a two-story “Bunkhouse” (four-plex) and lodge rooms. During your stay, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, hayrides, campfire sing-a-longs, horseback riding, and much more.

Are you ready to experience life at the Dixie Due Ranch? Find out more.

Hotel Valencia River Walk

Located along the heart of the River Walk, Hotel Valencia River Walk provides the perfect location for dining, shopping, sight seeing, and nightlife. Ideal for a romantic getaway, the 213-room hotel was designed by Dodd Mitchell of Los Angeles, who focused its aesthetics on luxury and upscale, contemporary style. The amenities are endless, but it’s truly the close proximity to the River Walk that keeps guests coming back for more.

Visit Hotel Valencia River Walk for more information.

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Dining along the River Walk. Photo credit: Definitive HDR Photography via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Dining in San Antonio

Well-known for its Tex-Mex style cuisine, San Antonio is home to a vibrant culinary scene. Using fresh, local ingredients in many of their meals, chefs are able to give visitors a taste of the true Mexican culture. With a mild, year-round climate, there are also an abundance of restaurants with outdoor patios and dining options to enjoy sunny days and beautiful Texas nights. For true food-lovers, you can’t miss an opportunity to follow along on one of San Antonio’s “Foodie’s Tour.” Get your taste buds excited for your upcoming trip to San Antonio by taking a look a couple of the best dining options in the area.

Rosario’s Mexican Café & Cantina

Rated one of the “Best Texas Restaurants” by Zagat and featured in Texas Monthly as the #2 “Taco you Must Eat Before You Die,” Rosario’s Mexican Café and Cantina is one restaurant that you cannot pass up when in San Antonio. One telling sign that you know it’s good food? Locals love it. There’s also two convenient locations, so it’s a go-to no matter what side of San Antonio you’re on.

To check out the menu, visit Rosario’s.

Esquire Tavern

Find yourself transported back in time to age of Prohibition upon walking into Esquire Tavern. Known for being the oldest bar on the River Walk, opened in 1933, it’s also well-known for being the host to the longest wooden bar top in all of Texas—stretching over 100 feet long. If that’s not enough to attract you, Esquire also boasts some of the best happy hour—and late night happy hour—specials in all of San Antonio.

Find out more at Esquire Tavern.

Magnolia Pancake Haus

Looking for the “World’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes”? I bet you didn’t know you could find them in San Antonio. Since its opening in 2000, it’s been a locals favorite, and word has also spread around the country about these famous pancakes. Magnolia has even been featured on Guy Fieri’s, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, as he stated that the food here at the Haus is truly “off the hook.”

Ready to see for yourself if Magnolia has the “world’s best buttermilk pancakes”? Head to Magnolia Pancake Haus for more information and to plan you visit.

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Sea World San Antonio. Photo credit: CameliaTWU via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Entertainment & Attractions in San Antonio

The long list of things to do in San Antonio is endless. To start you off on your adventure, check out our Top 5 Things to Do in San Antonio to learn about some of the most popular attractions, including the River Walk, The Alamo, HemisFair Park, Mission Kayak, and a San Antonio Spurs game. In addition to those 5, take a look at the following list of some San Antonio’s other tourist hot spots:

  • Sea World San Antonio
  • Brewery Tours
  • Winery Tours
  • Foodie Tours
  • San Antonio Bike Tours
  • King William Historic District
  • McNay Art Museum
  • The Missions
  • Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
  • San Antonio Botanical Gardens
  • Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours
  • Topgolf
  • And plenty more…

While we’ve given you a good overview to get your started on planning your trip to San Antonio, this is still just a small glimpse into what this amazing city has to offer. You’ll never regret making a trip to Texas, and San Antonio will only leave you wanting more.

Top 5 Things to Do in San Antonio

San Antonio is located in the southern-central part of Texas, surrounded by a wealth of history and culture. Home to the Alamo, River Walk, the San Antonio Spurs, and much more, just like everything else in Texas this is one big city with big sights and big sounds for visitors and locals alike. Over 1.4 million people call San Antonio home, and with bustling economy its also become a popular tourist destination. With so much to do and see, it’s easy to miss out on some of the most exciting attractions. To get you started, take a look our list for the Top 5 Things to Do in San Antonio.

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Looking for a great place to take a late night stroll? Look no further than the River Walk. Photo credit: szeke via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

1. River Walk (Paseo del rio)

Stretching along the banks of the San Antonio River, the River Walk is one of the most infamous attractions and a must-see stop for first time visitors. The River Walk is considered to be a public park, which is also dog-friendly, and requires no cost of admission to the public. Lined with shops, restaurants, museums, theaters, and countless nightlife and entertainment venues, there’s something for everyone at the River Walk. Depending on what time of year you’re visiting, you may find this scenic attraction covered in Christmas lights or sporting red-white-and-blue to celebrate Independence Day. For those looking to spend their wedding day along the banks of the river, Marriage Island, located on the River Walk near the Contessa Hotel, can serve as the ideal back drop for your special day. What’s the best way to take in the sights at River Walk? Hop aboard a river taxi and relax as you cruise through this urban waterway.

For more information, visit The San Antonio River Walk.

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Never forget to “Remember the Alamo.” Photo credit: StuSeeger via Foter.com / CC BY

2. The Alamo

We’ve all heard the saying, “Remember the Alamo.” What was first called Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718 is known to hold many stories of salvation, war and independence. Today, the Alamo is managed by the Texas General Land Office and is a popular tourist attraction for the area. Admission is free to enter the grounds and the Alamo Church, and there are also a variety of activities available for visitors at no additional cost. Of course, this historic sight is best known for its role in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, but there’s plenty more to learn. The history of the Alamo is extensive, and the best way to experience in all its glory is to see it for yourself.

To plan your visit, check out The Alamo.

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Beautiful lights and beautiful sights are endless at HemisFair Park. Photo credit: nan palmero via Foter.com / CC BY

3. HemisFair Park

Almost 50 years ago, San Antonio’s HemisFair Park became the home of the 1968 World’s Fair with the theme “Confluence of Civilizations in America.” The World Fair was also a join celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of San Antonio in 1718. Running from April to October, the World’s Fair saw more than 6 million visitors from over 30 different countries. Today, the 96.2 acre park is run by a nonprofit local government corporation called the HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC), which seeks to revitalize the historic sight. The River Walk was connected to the lagoon of the HemisFair in 2001 and also links to the Convention Center. The park is open seven days a week from 7am to 12pm. A variety of events are held in the Park each month, and it’s become well-known for being a central meeting place for area locals.

To learn more, visit HemisFair.

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Hop in and explore the river in your own kayak rental from Mission Kayak. Photo credit: Garrett Heath via Foter.com / CC BY

4. Mission Kayak

Looking for a little action and adventure? Head over to the San Antonio Missions Natural Park to begin your trip down the river. Combining history and nature, Mission Kayak offers kayak rentals, kayak classes, private events and much more to tailor your kayaking experience to your personal needs. Featured in Southern Living, TexasMonthly, and on ABC’s The Bachelorette, Mission Kayaks is your go-to stop for your kayaking excursion in San Antonio. For those who have never kayaked before, Mission Kayak states that kaying is “easier than riding a bike” and that “95% of our customers are first time kayakers.”

Book your trip today at Mission Kayak.

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Get your game face on and get ready to cheer on the Spurs. Photo credit: Katie Haugland via Foter.com / CC BY

5. San Antonio Spurs

No trip to San Antonio is complete without attending the city’s most beloved team’s home basketball game. With five NBA championships under their belt, the San Antonio Spurs always put on a show for the local crowd at AT&T Center. Opened in 2002, the AT&T Center is also home to San Antonio Rampage, an American League Hockey Team, the WMBA’s San Antonio Stars, and the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Throughout the year there’s also a variety of music artists and live performers who make a stop at AT&T on their tours. The arena has seen performances by “Aerosmith, Justin Bieber, Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, Cirque du Soleil, The Eagles, Vicente Fernandez, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel & Elton John, Madonna, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Shakira, Taylor Swift, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and WWE.”

To get tickets to a game or to check the calendar for all events, visit the AT&T Center.

Regardless of the month or the time of the year, San Antonio is a great place to visit during winter, spring, summer, and fall. While we’ve just touched on five of top things to do in the city, there’s plenty more to explore. Whether you’re just visiting for a weekend, stopping by on business, here for a full weeks on vacation, or moving into the area full time, you’ll feel at home in San Antonio. Start planning your trip to San Antonio today.