San Antonio has a variety of different venues for performances to suit any taste. Due to the sheer size and capacity of it, one chosen most by performers is the AT&T Center, the home of the SA Spurs, Rampage (Hockey), and Silver Stars (WNBA). Built in 2002, it is situated right next to the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum off One AT&T Center road.
We have attended several shows there from concerts to sporting events. The most recent was Whitesnake and Judas Priest. We have also enjoyed Van Halen, Tool, and, among others, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Upon arriving, the center offers ample parking. Getting in is easy since everyone gets there at varied times. Leaving is another story. Traffic is congested, patients are wearing, and tempers flare. Though they have traffic directors, they seemingly need more. They also tend to block the exit we need to take every time. Almost every event we have attended left us taking the scenic route home.
Entering the facility is easy. They seem to know how many gates or entrances to open per the number of ticket sales. We have only had to stand in line on limited occasions.
I do not know if it is just us but we have never been checked by security. However, there are security guards with handheld metal detecting devices. My brother-in-law entered the Judas Priest show with a switchblade in his pocket that he had forgotten to remove after work.
For relaxed drinking or eating, outside the main arena there is a smoking area, which is attached to a full bar inside, Headlines. Above this bar is the Terrace bar and restaurant on the upper level with a balcony, which is open for certain events. The center also has concessions like Whataburger, Pizza Hut, and varied beer, hot dog, and nacho stands. If you plan to attend an event at the AT&T Center, bring a lot of money, beer costs, currently, $6.75 (more for a souvenir cup).
The venue interior is non-smoking. This does not sway concert spectators, as we have seen many smoking a variety of things, if you know what I mean. This brings me to my usher rating. At Judas Priest despite the fact there were people around us smoking things, our daughter was called down for taking a couple of pictures (those included with this review). She was the only person asked to stop taking pictures, though there were many, many others in our section around us and throughout the center doing it.
Compared to other local venues the AT&T Center has decent acoustics. Sporting events come across differently than music shows. I assume this is because they install thick drapes over the highest tier of seating for musical events. During games, you can hear an echo from court squeaks or ice scrapes. The echo virtually disappears at concerts.
The seats are comfortable for the most part. They have cup holders situated in front of you, which is very nice should you want a place to put your drink.
The service staff is accommodating. The restrooms are clean and well stocked with tissue, soap, and paper towels.
Generally, we always have a nice time at the events we choose to attend.