An official audience of 68,323 fans descended upon the Alamodome in San Antonio on Friday to watch the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors establish an NBA attendance record. The Warriors prevailed 144–113, but the fact that history was created was more important.
The record was formally announced to the crowd by Spurs icon David Robinson during the game.
The previous NBA attendance record was set during the March 1998 game between the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome, which drew 62,046 spectators. The Spurs’ previous record for attendance was 39,554, which was set in 1999 during Game 2 of the NBA Finals versus the Knicks. The 2010 All-Star Game at Arlington, Texas’s AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, attracted the most attendees of any NBA event with 108,713.
A record-breaking 68,323 people attended the event in San Antonio on Friday, shattering the previous high, but one NBA coach believes that it’s only the beginning. Erik Spoelstra, the head coach of the Miami Heat, stated on Friday that he desires an NBA game to draw 100,000 spectators.
“The game is expanding exponentially. We need to organize an outdoor event and get 100,000 people to South Florida one day. Do that, then. Make that a reality, “added Spoelstra. “We may be able to build a court inside the Marlins’ stadium before adding the roof and opening it up. 100,000, let’s go for it. It’s my decision.”
It’s difficult to tell if Spoelstra was being slightly ironic, but it’s plausible that the NBA could organize an event of that nature, either domestically or abroad. Another question is whether the players would be enthusiastic about shooting in the wind and rain in an outside venue.
But for now, the Spurs own the record, and the match was a wonderful way to honor their supporters and the NBA’s advancements.