FAA looking into idea to build world's tallest Ferris wheel in San Antonio

Builder's plan calls for ride to stand 900 feet tall

SAN ANTONIO – The Federal Aviation Administration has been asked to conduct a feasibility study on an idea to build the world’s tallest Ferris wheel on a piece of land south of San Antonio’s downtown.

The request for the study came from an anonymous builder and was submitted Oct. 5, according to the federal agency’s website. It calls for construction of a Ferris/observation wheel that is 900 feet tall.

According to a map associated with the request, it would be built on land north of Highway 90 between Steves Avenue and the San Antonio River.

Dan Margolies, a jogger who often frequents a stretch of the River Walk in that area, is not so sure it’s the right place for that type of fun.

"I love this stretch of the river and I love, kind of, having this natural corridor in the middle of the city,” he said. “I'm not opposed to Ferris wheels. I just think there might be a better place for them than right here."

Eddie Hernandez, who also likes to run along the river, disagrees.

“I think it would be a great idea to have one on this side of town,” Hernandez said. “The large one that I see all the time is in Vegas.”

At 900 feet tall, the proposed super-sized spinning wheel would tower over the current world record holder, the 550-foot High Roller in Las Vegas. It would also eclipse the 700-foot high Ferris wheel that is under construction in Dubai and stand twice as tall as the 443-foot London Eye.

In fact, it would even be taller than one of San Antonio’s highest points: the 750-foot Tower of the Americas.

"I don't like rides, so I probably would not ride it,” Hernandez said. “But I would support it. "

There is at least one big cog in the big wheel plan: The land that the builder wants to use is owned by CPS Energy.

Spokeswoman Nora Castro said it currently is not open for bids, although it was earlier this year. In addition, she said no one has approached or contacted the utility about the Ferris wheel idea.

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