San Antonio

San Antonio is host to many outdoor events on an annual basis. As you start the planning process, it is important to recognize that your event plays a unique part in the relationship with the community. A quality event can make a difference to the City of San Antonio. EventPermits works with the City of San Antonio and its partners, in planning safe and successful events that comply with city law.

San Antonio Event Locations:

  • Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
  • River Walk
  • The Woodlawn Theatre
  • The San Antonio Zoo
  • The Alamo
  • Alamodome
  • HemisFair Arena
  • AT&T Center
  • Nelson Wolff Stadium
  • The Japanese Tea Gardens
  • Nelson Wolff Stadium

Twenty million tourists visit the city and its attractions every year, contributing substantially to the city’s economy. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center alone hosts more than 300 events each year with over 750,000 convention delegates from around the world. Tourism employs 94,000 citizens and makes an economic impact of over $8.7 billion in the local economy as revealed in the Economic Impact Study conducted every two years by the San Antonio Tourism Council and the research team of Dr. Richard Butler and Dr. Mary Stefl of Trinity University. Tourism also brings new annual revenues to the City of San Antonio and other governmental entities with the hotel & motel tax, sales taxes and other revenues from hospitality agreements and contracts. This number exceeded over $160 million in the 2004 study.

San Antonio is home to five Fortune 500 companies: Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro Petroleum Corp, Clear Channel Communications, USAA, and NuStar Energy.

The San Antonio Skyline

Tower of the Americas

Marriott Rivercenter

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination. The jewel of the city is the River Walk, which meanders through the downtown area. Lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as the Arneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, and is suffused with the local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio. Also based along the River Walk is the newly restored Aztec On The River, the only surviving exotic-themed movie palace in Texas.

The Alamo, located nearby, is Texas’ top tourist attraction, while the River Walk is the second most visited attraction. SeaWorld, located 16 miles west of the city, is the number 3 attraction.

The downtown area also features Cathedral of San Fernando, The Majestic Theatre, HemisFair Park (home of the Tower of the Americas and the Institute of Texan Cultures), La Villita, El Mercado, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, and the historic Menger Hotel. On the northern side of the Alamo complex, beside the Emily Morgan Hotel, is the San Antonio Cavalry Museum, which features cavalry artifacts and exhibits and is frequented by local re-enactors.

The Fairmont Hotel, built in 1906, is in the Guinness World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact. It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo, over four days in 1985, and cost $650,000 to move.

Other places of interest include the The Woodlawn Theatre, the San Antonio Zoo, the Japanese Tea Gardens, Kumamoto En, Brackenridge Park, the missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the Museo Alameda, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the McNay Art Museum, the Witte Museum, ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the Texas Transportation Museum, and Splashtown San Antonio. Visitors can also experience something of the cowboy culture year round; they can see the 40-foot (12 m) tall cowboy boots at North Star Mall.

Beyond taking in the sights and sounds of San Antonio, tourists can sample some of its world famous Tex-Mex cuisine at the many fine restaurants located throughout the city. Mexican restaurants are abundant in virtually all parts of town, and most – except for those in the Far North and some of the Uptown enclaves like Alamo Heights – are relatively inexpensive. Some outstanding examples of Tex-Mex eateries include Jacala, on West Avenue on the near Northwest side, La Hacienda de Los Barrios, on the North East side, Tommy’s on Nogalitos at I-35 near downtown, and Los Barrios, on the near North side of town.

The city’s only top-level professional sports team, and consequently the team most San Antonians follow, is the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. The Spurs have been playing in San Antonio since 1973 and have won four NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007). Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome, which was originally built for football, and before that the HemisFair Arena, but the Spurs built – with public money – and moved into the SBC Center in 2002, since renamed the AT&T Center, following the merger of SBC and AT&T.

The AT&T Center is also home to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League and the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, both owned by the Spurs. San Antonio is also home to the Double-A Minor League affiliate of the San Diego Padres, the San Antonio Missions who play at Nelson Wolff Stadium on the west side of the city. San Antonio also hosts the NCAA football Alamo Bowl each December. San Antonio also has two rugby union teams, the Alamo City Rugby Football Club, and San Antonio Rugby Football Club.

The University of Texas at San Antonio fields San Antonio’s only NCAA Division I athletic teams known as the UTSA Roadrunners. The university recently voted on the addition of a football team, which has yet to materialize.

The city is also home of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl played annually in the Alamodome and televised live on NBC. The Bowl is an East versus West showdown featuring the nation’s top 90 high school senior football players. The game has featured NFL stars Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and many other college and NFL stars. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl also includes the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, the U.S. Army National Combine, and the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, all of which take place in San Antonio during the week leading up to the game itself.

The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band features 91 of the nation’s top high school senior marching musicians who perform during halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The U.S. Army National Combine features 500 of the nation’s top high school underclassman football players. The U.S. Army Coaches Academy features 100 of the nation’s top high school football coaches, including the coaches of each U.S. Army All-American.

The city has also hosted the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers preseason camps in the past, and they have signed a contract with the Cowboys in which the Cowboys will practice in San Antonio through 2011.

Some current names in professional sports from the city of San Antonio’s high school sports programs include Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd, New York Giants defensive back Aaron Ross, New Orleans Hornets guard Devin Brown, Minnesota Vikings 2006 second-round draft pick Cedric Griffin, Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, Houston Texans defensive end N.D. Kalu, Florida Marlins pitcher Logan Kensing, Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal, Olympic gold medalist Darold Williamson, and Kansas City Chiefs Tackle Anthony Alabi.

Will I need a Permit?

If you are asking this question, the answer most likely is, yes!

If you are in doubt about whether or not your proposed activity is an Outdoor Special Event, and are unsure of what is required, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Even though my event is on private property, will some aspects of it spill onto the public space? (i.e. sidewalks, roads, city property or property owned by someone other than you)
  • Is there a remote chance that the safety of the participants and/or the residents of the City of San Antonio may be affected if certain aspects of your event are not properly constructed, installed, or handled (i.e. food, electrical wiring, tents, stages, generators)
  • Does your event require any City of San Antonio services? ( i.e. trash pick up, closing of streets, etc.)
  • Will I be erecting a stage, tent (10 x 10 or larger), bleachers, or booths?
  • Will I be vending? (food, beverages, merchandise)
  • Will I be selling/serving Alcohol? Will my event include advertising and/or product sampling?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will need an event permit in the City of San Antonio and EventPermits will facilitate all of your needs on your behalf.