Pounding the rock. It’s not just a mantra for the Spurs on the court, it’s what construction crews have been doing for months at the their new $500 million campus on the far Northwest Side.
The Spurs held their groundbreaking in November, but construction did not start until the new year after crews cleared the site.
Phil Cullen, Spurs Director of Operations, recently gave KSAT an exclusive tour of the construction at the Rock at La Cantera, the future headquarters for the organization.
“R.C. Buford had this vision back in 2013, 2014. It’s been a journey all along the way,” said Cullen. “We’ve connected with thought leaders from around the world on how best to design and build the Performance Center for the future, but also how to make sure we’re stewards of this moment and making sure that our culture and our people are taken care of as we grow.”
The foundation for the lower level of this first phase of construction is on the ground. The lower level will be primarily for the fans and community.
“We’re going to have an outdoor plaza that we’re going to have video screens, a secondary site to watch our games. Think of arts in the parks, your farmers markets,” said Cullen. “A real opportunity to engage with the family and come seven days a week. We’re fortunate to be able to open this opportunity up 365 days a year.”
The upper level will house the Spurs basketball operations and offices. KSAT crews were there for the first concrete pour upstairs, which will be the team’s practice courts and facility.
The upper level will also include hydrotherapy pools, an underwater treadmill and a shooting lab.
“There’s 30 NBA teams, 27 will be in new or newly renovated spaces,” said Cullen. “In order to recruit and retain the best staff, the best players, you need to be able to offer opportunities such as this.”
The goal is to open the Spurs Performance Center and the Frost Bank event plaza by next summer. But Cullen says keeping the Spurs culture in place comes first and it’s a team effort with the city and county.
“We really wanted to have a conduit and connection to the community. We’ve always said that this is an opportunity to better the lives of the community we represent, and I think we’ve done that in our design,” said Cullen. “We have a special responsibility to make sure that we’re representing our community in the right way.”