San Antonio Spurs’ Hype Squad tryouts are indicative of league’s next steps
By Dylan Carter
The San Antonio Spurs are set to hold virtual auditions for those interested in joining the team’s Hype Squad at home games during the 2020-21 season.
It appears that the San Antonio Spurs are prepared to hold virtual tryouts for people interested in joining the Hype Squad for the 2020-21 season. For those not familiar, the Hype Squad it the group that keeps fans engaged and enticed during the game during the pre-game lead-up, timeouts, halftime, etc.
For those in the San Antonio area, there are a few qualifications to meet first: You must be 18 years or older to be eligible to join. Those interested must be able to attend all of the Spurs’ home games in the 2020-21 season, practice twice per week during the season, provide your own transportation, live within 75 miles from the AT&T Center and cannot have a preexisting affiliation with a professional or collegiate cheer team.
If you’re interested in pursuing this opportunity, click here to proceed. They’ve laid out a ton of information and while the process may be a bit inorganic, you’ll still have a great chance to prove yourself!
Interested in joining the Spurs Hype Squad? Register for another LIVE Zoom Q&A this Friday, September 11th at 5pm CT to get all of your questions answered about auditions and more!
➡️ https://t.co/6UUkrheSOa pic.twitter.com/XKoYgEPjVk
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) September 9, 2020
Now, let’s get into the thick of it. The fact that someone at Spurs Sports & Entertainment green-lit this audition is telling of the organization’s expectation for the 2020-21 season. By all accounts, this would suggest that the Spurs organization intends to have fans back in the stands next year. They’ve continued to sell season ticket packages that extend into next year and are already preparing their Hype Squad to keep everyone entertained.
However, there’s always the possibility that this is deemed unsafe and the league decides against opening doors again. What does that mean for the Hype Squad? I have no idea, but it certainly would have major ramifications for the league. Keeping stadiums closed off to fans would greatly impact the revenue stream of the NBA. Considering the unusual timing of NBA games to accommodate the Orlando Bubble schedule, games have been held all throughout the day and scattered, effectively leading to a reduction in viewership.
A significant part of why teams wanted that draft pushed back — in this case, likely a month to November 18 — was to allow the NBA and NBPA more time to negotiate the new salary cap numbers for 2020-2021. Teams need those figures to be able to conduct trades around the draft.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 9, 2020
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Many have blamed the players’ political action, but that’s just a small piece of the pie. We’re in unprecedented times — Fans are cutting the cord, watching games on random streams and finding alternatives to cable and satellite television to watch live sports. Online engagement suggests the NBA is as popular as ever, if not more so than ever before. The on-court product has been spectacular and for the most part, fans are more than happy with what’s being displayed.
Regardless, the financial ramifications of the pandemic are going to have a damning impact on the future of the sport. It’s why the league tentatively pushed back the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency. Even if it’s not totally safe or logical to have large gatherings, we may see fans back in stands sooner than you’d think.
Something as trivial as a Hype Squad doesn’t necessarily make or break most people’s decisions to buy tickets. However, in a time like this, having that added incentive for families looking to occupy their time and entertain their children may draw parents to buy tickets. SS&E is prepared to pull out all of the stops to recoup some of its lost revenue. If they can distract fans with the draw of a Hype Squad and act like everything is normal again, people will feel safer at games.
With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, the team governors aren’t likely to prioritize safety.