New SA arena a smashing success as promoters line up

Tech Port Center and Arena is drawing the attention of entertainment and sports event promoters.

This is what the Tech Port Center and Arena will look like when it's completed later this year. The nearly $70 million center sits in the heart of the Port SA campus. (Courtesy of Port SA, KSAT 2021)

SAN ANTONIO – Tech Port Center and Arena has made a big impression on the concert industry, including one of rock’s more iconic artists. And now sports promoters are also taking note of the new venue that is quickly becoming an entertainment magnet for Southwest San Antonio.

One of the more unexpected challenges will be finding room on the calendar for everyone interested in booking the Port San Antonio facility.

For its musical debut, The Smashing Pumpkins christened the Tech Port stage on May 2, playing to a full house in the 3,300-seat building.

“They had a great experience, and the phone started ringing the next day, with more people wanting to come here,” said Eric Blockie, a veteran venue operator who was appointed by ASM Global to manage the $70 million arena. “Our problem now is trying to find dates.”

ASM is a Los Angeles-based venue and event management company.

The early feedback from tour operators has been positive. That’s key as word-of-mouth buzz should help lure more acts.

The Tech Port arena is also drawing interest from outside the concert industry as sports promoters have inquired about potential events in the facility. The venue has already booked its first boxing event, a WBC title match set for June 25 that will be broadcast live worldwide from the venue.

“All of these big events that are coming in now are going to be milestones for how we can showcase this fantastic venue on the South Side of San Antonio,” Blockie said.

In addition to the newness of the arena, promoters are intrigued by the opportunity to utilize its technology, including in-house broadcasting capabilities, which can cut down on the cost of producing live events.

It’s still somewhat of a work in progress. But the early results have been extremely positive, according to Tech Port officials.

“We’re firing on all cylinders. We’re excited about where we’re at and where we’re going, that San Antonio has another option,” Blockie said.

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

Click here to read the story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

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