The reason bats love the AT&T Center

Andre Key Spurs Fan Cave Leave a Comment

A little bit of research goes a very long way.

Every now and then — and seemingly more often than anywhere else — a San Antonio Spurs game gets disrupted by a brazen flying rodent (or four), leading to both fear, hilarity, and some slight embarrassment for the Spurs and their fans. But why does this keep happening? For the answer, you just have to do a little research.

Chris Herring of fivethirtyeight.com did just that, getting some rather simple and logical explanations from local specialists.

The AT&T Center is 25 miles southwest of Bracken Cave, which is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the largest summer bat colony in the world.

What’s more, it’s logical that bats would fly past the arena, particularly during the winter months. The stadium is almost directly in the bats’ migration path from Central America and Mexico back to Bracken Cave, where maternal colonies fly to have and nurse their newborns (nearly doubling in number).


So that explains why the bats are in the vicinity, but why do they keep ending up inside the AT&T Center? Again, the answer is pretty logical.

The massive, brightly illuminated presence that attracts moths and other insects in an otherwise quiet area might be appealing to bats2 that are looking for food on a given night, according to Judit Green, who has worked as an urban wildlife biologist for 30 years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Beyond that, experts suggest that the 750,000 square-foot stadium almost certainly had — or potentially still has — a tiny crevice somewhere, releasing just enough warmth outside to entice bats and birds that are looking to escape the area’s colder-than-usual temperatures for a night.

That’s that, then. However, next time a bat disrupts a Spurs game, there might actually someone other than Mother Nature to blame:

As J.R. Wilco exclaimed when I pointed this out to him, “Why Austin!?!?!!!”

Source: Pounding The Rock

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