SAN ANTONIO – The Southwest Side will soon be home to an innovation center and arena that is already attracting major shows and entertainment. On Friday, KSAT 12 got a construction tour at the new Tech Port Center and Arena at Port San Antonio.
The 180,000 square-foot facility will transform into a world-class tech hub and entertainment venue in less than two months, the first of its kind in San Antonio. The estimated $70 million project is set to be completed in early April.
Aside from the arena, the center will have several features and innovative spaces.
“We have the first LAN gaming center for the kids and adults built from the ground up. We have the Capital Factory, the SAMSAT Museum,” said Eric Blockie, general manager of Tech Port Center and Arena.
With a focus on esports, the gaming center will feature 60 individual stations, monitors and broadcast capabilities on par with other major cities. Blockie said the center gives new opportunities in digital growth for youth in the area.
“That has the highest speed internet, the best computers and they can compete with anybody on the North Side of San Antonio, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York,” said Blockie.
The campus hub will be the new 3,100-seat arena that will host live entertainment such as concerts, robotics competitions, esports tournaments and possibly live sporting events. Other amenities include retractable seating, a VIP area and suites.
“The arena has 7.1 surround sound. We have a 60-foot wide video wall. We have lights. We have the world’s largest Tesla display,” said Blockie.
The Tesla display is the first installation of permanent Tesla Coils in any arena. They are integrated with the sound and lighting systems as part of the event production. The monitors and screens can also be configured in any direction based on the needs of the event or performer.
The arena has multiple concerts lined up this spring, beginning with the Smashing Pumpkins on May 2. The center will be open every day and is free to the public, even on days when there is not a concert or live entertainment inside the arena. Blockie said the venue is a digital and lifestyle playground with endless opportunities.
“What we’re here to do is spur innovation,” said Blockie. “We want people to come here every day. We want the South Side to embrace it. We want the West Side to embrace it. All of San Antonio can come.”