The San Antonio Spurs may be 13-30, but they have all the pace of the NBA in a record book area.
With a crowd of 68,323 fans, the Spurs broke the NBA single-game attendance record against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. The increased attendance came thanks to a special game played at the team’s former home at the Alamodome as part of a celebration of its 50th anniversary.
The previous record of 62,046 fans was held by a game at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998 between the Atlanta Hawks and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, the team documented in ESPN’s “The Last Dance.” The total was big enough to move the Spurs from 29th in the NBA to 15th, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
Spurs fans certainly treated the game, a 144-113 loss, as a special occasion:
Spurs were expected to break the match entry record after announcing they had sold 63,592 tickets on Wednesday, boldly succinctly.
While the team’s Friday crowd is the largest any team has ever seen, the NBA record for most fans at any event still belongs to the 2010 All-Star Game, which drew 108 713 fans at Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium.
As part of the anniversary celebration, Spurs also brought back some familiar faces:
To announce the record number of spectators, Spurs turned to Hall of Fame center David Robinson.
The evening was a special occasion for a fanbase and a team that deserved it. The Spurs could hardly be described as good this year – they are currently second-to-bottom in the Western Conference – but the power of the team’s history was clear on Friday.
Not only was there a lot to celebrate in their last 50 years, like five NBA championships and some of the NBA’s most beloved Hall of Famers, but they also built one of the foundations of the league’s most passionate fans in San Antonio, a city of more than one million people with just one team in all four major North American men’s leagues.