Brooks Development Authority spends $18,540 on UTSA football suite, alcohol records show

Receipts show more than $1,300 spent on alcohol at three football games

SAN ANTONIO – The Brooks Development Authority has spent thousands of dollars on food, drinks, and tickets for a UTSA football suite in the fall of 2023, according to receipts and a contract obtained by KSAT.

In September 2023, records show the Brooks Development Authority signed a contract and paid $18,540 for a suite at the Alamodome, which includes 16 tickets.

Chief Strategy Officer Connie Gonzalez signed off on it.

“Who is using the suite?” asked KSAT reporter Daniela Ibarra.

“So the priority was not necessarily the usage,” responded Gonzalez. “The priority was to make sure that we’re supporting UTSA. However, we were able to invite various partners, various staff members, various board members.”

Gonzalez said the Brooks Development Authority exists to attract businesses and quality jobs to Brooks and San Antonio.

KSAT asked Gonzalez if the suite was used to attract businesses.

“Our priority and our reasoning behind it, again, first and foremost, was to support UTSA Athletics,” said Gonzalez.

Where is the money coming from?

The Brooks Development Authority is a government entity that oversees Brooks on the South Side of San Antonio.

The entity is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the San Antonio City Council, according to its website.

However, we are not supported by taxpayer funds,” explained Gonzalez. “And so all of our operations is completely funded by our leases and our sales that we conduct on campus.”

James Quintero, a policy director with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said it’s still public money.

“It’s a highly questionable use of public monies,” he said. “And because it’s public money, Brooks Development Authority has a responsibility to treat those dollars in a judicious way, and clearly, spending it on games and booze is not really in service of any public purpose.”

Thousands spent on alcohol, game day snacks

The Brooks Development Authority footed the bill for the suite’s game time snacks and alcohol, records show.

KSAT reviewed the concessions receipts billed to Brooks from three UTSA home games.

At UTSA’s game against Texas State on Sept. 9, the Brooks Development Authority paid $1,728.80, including a $247.17 service charge and $200 tip, for snacks like popcorn, nachos, and guacamole. The total was $483 spent on beer, seltzer, and liquor, according to the receipt.

A total of $1,677.23 was billed to the Brooks Development Authority’s suite for concessions at the UTSA vs. Army game on Sept. 15. That includes a $206.85 service charge and $387,06 tip. The receipt shows $468 paid for six cases of beer and seltzer and a bottle of tequila and vodka.

Brooks Development Authority’s card was charged $2,385.56 for UTSA’s game against UAB on Oct. 14. According to the receipt, $584 of that total was paid for eight cases of beer and seltzer and two bottles of vodka. The tab also included a $294.21 service charge and a $550.50 tip.

Gonzalez claims the expenses help the university.

“How has that helped?” asked Ibarra.

“So I’ll go back to the reason and the priority, and that goes back to supporting education, supporting our workforce and supporting, ultimately, UTSA,” responded Gonzalez. “UTSA matters to San Antonio, so UTSA matters to Brooks.”

“But how does buying hundreds of dollars with alcohol help UTSA?” asked Ibarra.

“At Brooks, we’re not only focused on attracting businesses, we’re also focused on retaining,” responded Gonzalez. “And part of that is showing off what San Antonio has to offer.”

Gonzalez said the 2023 season is the first one the entity has had a suite, adding it’s up to the board to approve another.

“Do you think that this is a good use of money?” asked Ibarra.

“Supporting UTSA and supporting our educational institution is always a good use of our money,” said Gonzalez.

Quintero disagrees.

“How is the public made better by their expenditure of funds on games and alcohol?” he said. “I don’t really think you can make an argument that the public is any better off for it.”

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Recommended Videos