Why the San Antonio Spurs Timber Court is Envy of the World

The new facility, the largest mass timber facility ever constructed for a professional sports franchise, sets new benchmarks in engineering, architecture and sustainability.

Mon 23 Oct 23


NBA powerhouse San Antonio Spurs opened its new US $510 million custom-built training facility, known as the “Victory Capital Performance Center.”

This milestone was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday and featured special guests from the City of San Antonio and the dedicated contractors and construction partners who, according to the franchise holding company, Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E), “played an integral role in bringing the project to fruition.”

For their part, SS&E provided at least US $100 million of funding, with the rest rising from private investors, partners, the city and the county.

The project, which broke ground in November 2022, features 20 glue-laminated timber beams and what is the world’s mass timber facility constructed for a professional sporting franchise.

Each beam was 130 feet long, over six feet tall, weighed over 13 tons, and installed using a 500-tone crane.

Designed by ZGF Architects, the architect behind Portland’s PDX International Airport, the glue-laminated beams were supplied by SmartLam NA and installed by Timberlyne Group.

Texas’s largest mass timber building is now considered the most advanced sports facility in the world and is the envy of every NBA basketball franchise, according to Sports Business Journal.

“After a decade of planning and research and nearly two years of construction, we are elated to officially open the doors of the Victory Capital Performance Center,” according to RC Buford, Chief Executive Officer for SS&E. 

“This facility embodies a spirit of innovation, sustainability and a commitment to performance excellence that defines the San Antonio Spurs, Victory Capital, Bexar County and the City of San Antonio. It is a testament to our shared vision for the future of the San Antonio Spurs and the community.”

Spurs executives spent eight years planning the facility and gathering ideas for a project that would benefit the team and the surrounding community. (Photo Credit: San Antonio Spurs)

In July, Mr Burford said the new facility is far more than just a practice gym with a big locker room and some toys; it’s going to be part of what the team envisions as a “global centre for excellence in human and athletic performance” — not to mention a massive commitment to the city of San Antonio.

“We’re not trying to build this to be the best in the NBA,” said Buford, the Spurs’ CEO and part of all five of the franchise’s championship runs. “We’re going to build this for our needs and to have the best environment to help develop the Spurs’ culture.”

The San Antonio Spurs’ NBA basketball practice courts under construction, dated Sunday, June 25, 2023, in San Antonio. Large windows over the practice court will be included for viewing. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The 134,000-square-foot precinct features practice courts, training rooms, therapy pools, a sensory deprivation tank, a team dining room, and a performance kitchen and is part of a 500,000-square-foot master plan for the precinct.

According to Bobby Perez, SS&E Vice President and Legal Counsel, mass timber construction was instrumental in delivering on crucial environmental requirements.

“We priced it out with mass timber construction,” Mr Perez said in 2021.

In addition to the mass timber footprint, the complex is layered with solar panels, effectively making the facility net zero.

The grand opening coincides with the franchise’s 50th birthday and the recent recruitment of NBA No One pick Victor Wembanyama.


  • Wood Central

    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.

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