SAN ANTONIO – Port San Antonio is one of the technological hubs of the Alamo City and over the last year, the port has been building a state-of-the-art facility -- the Tech Port Center + Arena.
On May 2, the first official concert will be held at the new tech port center with the Smashing Pumpkins as the main act.
President and CEO of Port SA Jim Perschbach joined Leading SA on Sunday to talk about the momentous occasion and what it means for San Antonio.
“Four years ago, we stood up at a chamber lunch downtown, said we were going to build a center that would connect people up and show off the great things we’re doing in San Antonio. And, you know, four years later, here we are. Had the building going up and it was just a little over a year ago, we started putting the walls up,” Perschbach said.
It’s exciting for entertainment and tourism. Plus, it’s able to showcase what the Alamo City has to offer, according to Perschbach.
“The first thing it does is it really gives us a platform to showcase what we do well in San Antonio by bringing people down and seeing all the activity that’s going on on this campus. The second thing, and a part we’re really excited about, the whole model is that the concerts, the food and beverage, the bar we’ve got down there, is going to fund the programing through the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, through what we call the Kelly Heritage Foundation, to honor the legacy of Kelly Air Force Base. So feel good coming down, buy a ticket for one of these shows because you are directly funding educational opportunities for kids all over our region,” Perschbach said.
The Tech Port Center + Arena is a $70 million project. It’s an intimate arena holding about 3200 people. It’s dubbed as the most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world, drawing some of those big names like The Smashing Pumpkins.
“The thing we like to talk about are the musical Tesla coils on the side, shoot out sparks, you know, dozens of feet out and play music. But it’s the capability to broadcast on virtually any stream that you want to have out there to bring in gaming tournaments. We’re going to have the first ‘Overwatch’ competition in two years here next Friday to broadcast, to record and do virtually anything that you would want to do in an arena, we can do right there in-house,” Perschbach said.
This opening can also have huge implications for the future of education in and around San Antonio, Perschbach said.
“We’ve had 60,000 plus kids come through the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology just in the past four years, and that’s been in a tiny little space. In July when the new space is open with the robots and the flight simulators and a whole bunch of excitement, we hope to have 100,000, 150,000 kids coming through. And our goal is to have 1% of those kids get inspired enough that they want to pursue the types of programs that are offered through SAMSAT, whether that’s cyber programs, rocketry programs for robotics or computer programs. And if we do that and we’re creating a pathway for 1,500 young people a year to become entrepreneurship ready, to become job-ready, to become college ready, then we think we’re doing something really special for the community,” Perschbach said.
You can watch the full Leading SA interview with Perschbach in the video player above.