Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Let them eat hot dogs

Kara Lee

The Brooks Development Authority (BDA), the entity in charge of revitalizing the Brooks Air Force Base area, spent a total of $18,540 over the span of three UTSA football games from the comfort of a suite — but it is for educational purposes, right? 

Since Brooks Air Force Base was shut down in 2011, the BDA has been tasked with revitalizing 1,308 acres of land on the Southside of San Antonio. With such a monumental mission, the news of this seemingly frivolous spending was unsettling to many.

 Considering that the Brooks Authority is a government entity, whose board is appointed by the city, it is not difficult to imagine why people are upset that revitalization funds were reportedly spent on Nacho Bars, four cases of Dos Equis, three bottles of Titos, Bottomless Popcorn and other game day goodies.   

All things considered, an important distinction to be made is that the Brooks Authority is not directly funded by tax-payer dollars. Instead, they generate their funding primarily through leases, property sales and business partnerships like the one with the Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa

Although the Brooks development is not directly supported by tax revenue, it does not mean, however, that their funding is not being generated from the government. The real estate from which they generate their revenue is the aforementioned parcel of land, which was entrusted to them by the government for the sole purpose of attracting families and companies to the city’s Southside. Any capital generated from the development of Brooks is not theirs to splurge. 

When KSAT asked about the gameday expenditures in a televised interview, the Chief Strategy Officer Connie Gonzalez insisted that their priority, “First and foremost, was to support UTSA Athletics.” Seeing as how a donation to UTSA Athletics Department would have been much more effective than reportedly buying $126 of brisket tacos, six hard seltzer variety packs and $200 of buffalo chicken wings, Gonzalez only ends up insulting the intelligence of the viewers. 

What is increasingly infuriating about that interview is that after the KSAT reporter asked if the gameday suites were used to attract business to Brooks, Gonzales dodged the question by repeating, “[their] priority and [their] reasoning behind it, again, first and foremost, was to support UTSA Athletics.” The only fathomable way in which that use of public funds would be acceptable is if its primary purpose was to promote more businesses relocating to Brooks by networking and hosting industry leaders. The dodging of that lifeline of a question further implies that the suite was primarily used for recreation, not attracting business. 

Even though their use of public funds was fundamentally erroneous, admittedly, the BDA has overall been doing a pretty good job of transforming the area. According to the San Antonio Express-News, as of 2023, the Brooks Authority only has 307 acres to develop, and they have plans for each one. With being so close to the finish line, now is certainly not the time to get sloppy with government funds.

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About the Contributor
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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