30 Years of Politics in the Alamo City
In the Current’s first-ever issue, they called it the “Tacodome.”
Of course, that raised eyebrows, so in a subsequent story, the paper offered some suggestions for the multi-purpose sports complex city officials, like Mayor Henry Cisneros, were slobbering to throw taxpayer dollars at: Dillodome, Condome, Pooperdome and, our personal favorite, Conquistadome. The Alamodome, its eventual moniker, was just too lame to actually take seriously – “sounds like something an insurance company would call a ‘pre-existing condition,’” wrote former staffer Dwight Silverman.
Cue the 30 years of grousing, from public and politicians, over why on earth a major American city like San Antonio can’t land a major sports franchise other than Los Spurs.
Development – the razing of what was past to make way for the new and better – was inextricably tied to the city’s political machine 30 years ago. It’s a story that’s been on repeat throughout the lifespan of this paper and one of the many political issues that resonate into today: politicians who prime development that encroaches on angry residents, water politics that date all the way back to the Applewhite Reservoir, or what to do with the city’s crumbling treasures.
Like Hemisfair. Consider one June 1987 article, again by Silverman, that dubbed the park’s post-World’s Fair era “an urban embarrassment” that called into question city leaders’ ability to simply maintain what we already have. Back then, city officials floated a plan that should sound similar because 30 years of concept-ing and vision-process-ing hasn’t really changed it much: that rehabbed park space, retail, entertainment and dining would resurrect Hemisfair.
At least today, we seem a little bit closer.