San Antonio Spurs Facebook

As the Spurs continue celebrating their 50th anniversary this season, Friday night will be one of the biggest celebrations of them all — and not just by Texas standards. Tipping off at 6:30 pm, the game against defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors not only marks the Spurs' first return to the Alamodome since 2002, but is also set to break the NBA's single-game attendance record.

According to NBA.com, Friday’s matchup will be only the fourth NBA game with an attendance exceeding 50,000. So far, 64,387 people are set to attend the historic event, as of January 12 around 10 am, when the Spurs released released additional tickets to meet high demand.

Apart from breaking NBA records, this is also the most tickets ever sold for a single Spurs game, according to that release: The Alamodome was originally configured to accommodate 65,000 fans, so these additional tickets are comprised of standing-room-only on the floor, single seats and seating with limited views.

Feature limited-edition merchandise, a pre-game light show, a halftime performance by '90s rap duo Tag Team, and more, the celebrations will start well before the game and are set to continue hours later. Following the game, a postgame party will take place on the H-E-B Plaza north of the Alamodome with food, drinks, merchandise, and live music, capped off by fireworks. The fireworks will last 10 minutes, beginning at approximately 10:10 p.m.

Understandably, both the team and the City of San Antonio are encouraging fans to arrive early on Friday, which will serve as the biggest celebration for the Spurs 50th Anniversary season. (Don't worry about boredom if you arrive too early, though: Doors open at 4:30 pm, but entertainment and merchandise shopping will be available on the H-E-B Plaza beginning at 4 pm.)

The City of San Antonio announced earlier this week that parking at the Alamodome was already sold out, detailing alternatives in the area, as well as public transit options. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the extended VIA Park & Ride services, which will be provided to and from the AT&T Center (1 AT&T Center Pkwy.) and Crossroads (151 Crossroads Blvd.) locations. Parking at both locations is free, and the cost for the service is $1.30 each way, running from 2:30 – 11:30 pm. Find more info here.

The City is also offering free parking, as available, for ticket holders entering between 3-6 pm at the City Tower (117 W. Commerce St.; enter from Main or Flores streets) and St. Mary’s (205 E. Travis St.) garages.

Fans can find a detailed game day guide at Spurs.com/DomeInfo and more information on public parking here. Still haven't bought your ticket? Single game tickets for the Spurs 50th Anniversary celebration at the Alamodome are still available for purchase at Spurs.com and on Ticketmaster.

And don't forget, Austinites who can't make the drive this weekend can still be part of the 50th Anniversary season when the Spurs come to our very own Moody Center later this year.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Austin Top Chef winner debuts new National Geographic series during SXSW

Top Chef

Austin is proud to claim chef Kristen Kish as our own, but the Top Chef winner has always had a global mindset. She first earned her chops in French and Italian cuisine at Boston's acclaimed Menton restaurant, infusing those influences into the menu at Arlo Grey with a pioneering curiosity and adventurous spirit. Now, she's bringing that explorer's mindset to a new National Geographic series, debuting Tuesday, March 21.

Available on Disney+, Restaurants at the End of the World is a docuseries in which Kish travels to off-the-beaten-path pockets of the planet. The four-part series follows Kish as she searches for the secret ingredients – people, places, culture and traditions – within the world’s most remote restaurants in Boquete, Panama; Svalbard, Norway; North Haven Island, Maine; and Paraty, Brazil.

A lucky selection of South by Southwest (SXSW) attendees got a sneak peek of the series at a special dinner on Tuesday, March 14. The event took place inside Arlo Grey at the Line Hotel, where Kish mingled with guests and introduced clips from the upcoming series. A family-style dinner featured dishes inspired by different episodes of the series, from Maine-inspired Parker House rolls to Arctic char and strawberry semifreddo.

"This series is all about shared experiences and trading stories," Kish said, introducing the evening's menu. "So, when putting this menu together, I realized there are a lot of similarities. When I think back to all the places I went and new things I learned, there are so many familiar flavors to every bite that can bring you right back home into your own story."

The menu celebrated each location in the upcoming series, often in the same course: Parker House Rolls (with delicious whipped brown butter) were a nod to her New England episode ("Maine Island Barn Supper,"), paired with a scallop crudo commemoration of her time in Brazil ("Brazil’s Floating Feast,"). Meanwhile, the main course gave guests a glimpse of the great lengths Norwegian fishermen go to when harvesting Arctic char, accompanied by a clip of Kish's adventures with local purveyors in Svalbard, Norway.

The aim of both the dinner and the upcoming series is to showcase the tenacity it takes to run restaurants in such remote places. Each episode follows Kish behind the scenes with local purveyors, farmers, herders, kitchen crew, managers, and head chefs to hear their stories. She invites viewers along with her in the hunt for the best and freshest ingredients, unearthing the culture and heart behind global cuisine and showcasing the balancing act required to bring unique food to the table around the world.

“Food has an unparalleled power to bring us together and teach us about one another and the world around us, and we see that firsthand by going to restaurants in the world’s most remote areas,” says Chef Kish via release. “Filming this series with National Geographic was an adventure of a lifetime that taught me so much about an industry I’ve been steeped in my whole life. I can’t wait for viewers to come along on the journey with us and experience these dishes at restaurants most never even knew existed.”

The first episode of Restaurants around the World will be available on March 21 at 9 pm CST.

Kristen Kish

Courtesy National Geographic

Top Chef winner Kristen Kish has a new National Geographic show debuting on March 21.

Boutique Austin hotel amplifies the vinyl bar scene with a moody new listening room

Moody Blues

There’s no shortage of cool places in Austin to hear curated tunes, but a new effort by Hotel Magdalena amplifies the imagination beyond the laid-back trend. Although many vinyl bars, listening rooms, or jazz lounges provide lovely venues to chat and check out of the active listening — if that’s a guest’s preference — Equipment Room is almost too intimate to invite any kind of distraction.

Bunkhouse Group, the hotel’s parent company (along with other boutique hotels like Hotel San José and Hotel Saint Cecilia) maintains the space with Mohawk owner James Moody and Breakaway Records owners Josh LaRue and Gabe Vaughn, who supply the records. Rather than hiring a couple of DJs to set the tone, the team is leaving it to Breakaway Records employees on a rotating schedule.

All it requires is good taste; These spinners will be taking a more curational than transformative approach, playing full albums so visitors can hear each “the way it was intended.” Cocktail waiters will pass out handwritten cards so patrons know what’s playing, and can listen more at home. (On March 1: The Cooker by Lee Morgan, 2006.)

Although Equipment Room is not quite a speakeasy (despite having a perfect name for it), the listening room is certainly covert. The front door, in a different building than the hotel lobby, is barely marked at all save for a little floating “E” sign.

Inside, a public-facing seat or a covetous corner are a guest’s choice. A long bar allows visitors to interface with staff and lean into the cocktail experience; plus, they get to sit closest to the main speakers and the turntables. The main room is further segmented with plush furniture in a variety of configurations. Some tables stand alone in the center of the room as if in a restaurant, serving as a point of connection; others on a raised platform around the edge of the room serve as a thin barrier between the cocktail sippers and the rest of the venue.

Some seating creates conversation circles, while other outward-facing couches are placed in command positions to either social or voyeuristic ends. A side room creates a small den for a bigger party to retreat to, or perhaps a few smaller ones to converge in, like a chill room at a rave — were the entire venue not already deeply chill.

Where a guest sits notably changes the experience. Besides inviting conversation, facilitating people watching, or concealing a romantic date, each part of the room sounds different thanks to different speaker configurations and a curved ceiling to spread out the acoustics.

Of course, besides the obscure and nonchalant implications of the name, the Equipment Room must be outfitted with the best audio tools LaRue and Vaughn could source, with the help of acoustic engineers at Klipsch. A full list of equipment on the venue’s website illuminates speakers, amps, and more, including a vintage cassette deck. Recording capabilities will come in handy on some special nights when the “guest selectors” record that night’s repertoire, and the especially high-fidelity equipment will be broken out for album releases and other more pointed listening events.

Audiophiles or otherwise, all do best with a cocktail and some snacks to settle into the space, and an eclectic menu delivers. Divided into A-sides and B-sides (classic and experimental drinks), it includes everything from a traditional French 75 to the ostentatious “Gold Dust Woman” with Still Austin gin, macadamia nut liqueur, Linie Aquavit, granny smith apple juice, spiced demerara, sparkling wine, and “ice gold leaf.”

Four virgin cocktails and seven sakes also grace the menu, along with snacks like a suspiciously tasty “caramel puffed cheese corn” (“like Pirate’s Booty,” explains a staff member, but with a sweet, glossy coating) and onigiri. The Japanese bites tie into the jazz kissaten, or Japanese vinyl cafes, that inspired this decidedly Western Austin treat.

Whatever’s on the audio menu that night — cowboy ballads, Afrobeat, or something psychedelic — every moment just gets tastier as visitors settle into the sensational space.

Equipment Room is open at 1101 Music Lane from Tuesday to Thursday 5-10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am. More information including recommended albums is available at equipmentroom.com.

Hotel Magdalena's Equipment Room interior

Photo by Nick Simonite

Hotel Magdalena opened a chic listening room with speakeasy vibes, called Equipment Room.

Kendra Scott debuts Yellow Rose collection during SXSW activation


South by Southwest (SXSW) might be wrapping up this weekend, but there's still plenty of time to catch a homegrown favorite for at an unofficial activation. Kendra Scott launched her Texas ranch-inspired capsule collection, Yellow Rose, at the brand's South Congress flagship store during SXSW, and there are still plenty of reasons to go by and check it out in person.

The main draw is, of course, the collection itself: Spotlighting traditional Southwestern designs and materials, the 56-piece collection blends the brand's bright, colorful style with the versatility that has made Kendra Scott a household name. Drawing inspiration Scott's family ranch and designed with the modern cowgirl in mind, the collection blends two of the brand's best-selling stones to create a one-of-a-kind bronze veined turquoise magnesite red oyster in a beaded collection reminiscent of a Southwestern sunset.

There's something for everyone in this particular collection: "Horse girls" will love the all-new Beau suite (a hand-sketched and sculpted silhouette of Scott’s beloved horse, Beau), while those looking for an edgier vibe will snatch up the serpent-adorned Phoenix. And for the cowboys, the new Scott Bros. by Kendra Scott 13-piece collection includes the iconic Cade & Grey bracelets in genuine stone, like African Turquoise.

The collection is already available online, but below are some of the SXSW-specific reasons to brave South Congress this weekend:

Friday, March 17
You're supposed to be wearing green for St. Patrick's Day, but there's no shame in spending all day surrounded by yellow during the tail end of the store's SXSW events. Friday's lineup includes "Frose Friday" from 1 pm to 4pm, overlapping with complimentary aura readings from Carrie Moss (with a $175+ purchase) from 3 pm to 6 pm, as well as dry styling/hair tinsel from 3 pm to 6 pm. Oh, and don't forget live music on the patio!

Saturday, March 18
Stop by all day for $3 beers, mimosas, and seltzers from 12 pm to 5 pm. Throwing Shade hat customization and free chain stitch tote customization is available with any $100 Purchase between 1pm and 4pm, while Carrie Moss will bring her complimentary aura readings back, starting at 3 pm, with any $175+ purchase. Dry styling/hair tinsel is also available with purchase, and Sir Woman will serenade shoppers with live music from 3-6 pm.

Sunday, March 19
Stop by for live music and Swirl Sunday (a delicious blend of the store's two signature frozen drinks) from 12-5 pm. A $100 purchase on Sunday comes with free chain stitch tote/bandana customization between 1 pm and 4 pm.

Kendra Scott Yellow Rose

Courtesy Kendra Scott

SXSW shoppers can stop by the Kendra Scott event space for a custom hat bar.