The UTSA football program has awakened like no other program in the country over the past two years.
After not having football until 2011, the Roadrunners lured Larry Coker to San Antonio and now inhabit the Alamodome for their home games, the former stomping grounds for the San Antonio Spurs prior to the AT&T Center opening before the 2002-03 season.
The Alamodome has a 65,000-seat capacity for UTSA games, and can be expanded to 72,000 if necessary. It’s the home to various sports and companies across the United States, including the UIL State Marching competition, the San Antonio Talons arena football team and the Valero Alamo Bowl.
The Roadrunners play football in the Western Athletic Conference during the 2012 season, but will make the transition to Conference-USA beginning in 2013. They’ve done quite well so far, including finishing off a winning campaign this year and taking care of business against new full-time IH-35 rival Texas State.
Here’s a look at UTSA’s stay in the stadium. It’s quickly becoming San Antonio’s prized football possession, at least until the Dallas Cowboys return for training camp.
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Being in South Texas, you can expect a little bit more out of your concession stand food. That's the case at the Alamodome, which mixes traditional football snacks with a little bit of flavor.
There's a little bit of everything for fans, including the basic hot dogs and nacho selections that make concession stands all over the country different, but really much of the same. There's plenty of options with a stadium this big, so the Dome gets a little bit of a boost for small waits in line and staying close to traditional.
The UTSA faithful showed a lot of promise during the 2011 season, filling the stadium with 57,000 plus for the inaugural game. They went on to average more than 35,000 during 2011.
Now in the WAC, the Roadrunners boast the conference's biggest stadium, and still put out respectable numbers for a small time Division-I school. The average for the six home games in the 2012 season averaged 29,226, still solid when it comes to this kind of football gracing the city for the first time.
San Antonio is a great place to catch a football game in part because the fans care so much about the sport, and feel somewhat deprived of it with only the Spurs as a pro franchise.
The team isn't half-bad either, finishing 8-4 on the 2012 season. Simply put, the Roadrunners are on the right path, and have an asset in their stadium that most teams have to spend millions on before getting it right.
If you're a fan of arts, classic culture and great food, there isn't a better exit sight that the San Antonio Riverwalk, just a few minutes North and on the other side of IH-37.
Just minutes away from the downtown scene, you could exit the Alamodome, get back to your car and be on the river in a matter of minutes if you play your cards right.
If there isn't a restaurant on the Riverwalk that doesn't suit your fancy, then you can stop at a local spot away from the crowds, or pick up a bite at a place like McDonald's.
Since many college football programs are isolated from the "big city" vibe that San Antonio protrudes, having this kind of history and culture so close is a treat. Stop by and visit the Alamo itself if you so desire, and see why the stadium has such an interesting namesake.
For a school typically known as a commuter campus, the UTSA faithful come out in droves to support the new program.
There is a sense of passion that can be felt throughout the stadium when UTSA scores or gets a big play on defense, and that's all you can really ask for from your fans. There's still a learning curve in San Antonio, but given another three years or so to join the ranks of schools in the C-USA, and I think UTSA will be right there.
Parking could be considered somewhat of an issue, as season ticket holders get first and only crack at the stadium's parking lots.
Since the stadium is near downtown, the school expects fans and patrons to park at a downtown lot and walk to the game, or find any of the shuttle services that will take them there.
If that seems too dangerous or inconvenient, there is a shuttle service that departs from the UTSA campus and takes patrons to the stadium, as well as other designated spots around San Antonio ($5 round-trip).
The program has a certain buzz right now that hasn't been felt in San Antonio in quite some time. The team is winning and Coker has the troops on the right path.
The stadium is also a treat, a constant reminder to fans of the 1999 Spurs team that won the NBA title and now is a new beacon of light for a program looking to gain some footing with other college football giants.
Paying only around $15-$20 for a ticket with the possibility to move your seat down when the second half hits is a pretty good deal. The stands aren't too packed, and with the possibility of the Riverwalk and San Antonio culture just footsteps away, this is a great environment for any college football fan.
Nothing much extra to report other than the cheerleaders and the standard halftime performances from the UTSA students, but it's still a good atmosphere for football.
With a big-name coach, quality conference and excellent stadium under the wings of the Roadrunners, anything seems possible within the next few years for this program.
The Alamodome is a great place to attend a sporting event. Whether the site of it makes you nostalgic from Spurs legends or the idea of your child playing there one day, it's a great decision by the city not to tear it down with the addition of the AT&T center.
Who knows, we could see the NFL come knocking on the Alamodome door one day soon.
There could not be a better atmosphere for football than the Alamodome. I've been to several mid-major football games in several areas across the country and nothing else is even close. I did notice where the article states that:
"Just minutes away from the downtown scene, you could exit the Alamodome, get back to your car and be on the river in a matter of minutes if you play your cards right."
The truth is that you can walk across the bridge that crosses over the interstate and be at the Riverwalk in minutes as well. As the crow flies I would guess it to be maybe 8 or so city blocks from the Riverwalk & Alamo to the Alamodome itself. If you have a hotel room at one of the many surrounding the Riverwalk, you can make it one long day of fun and football and never have to get in your car.
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