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San Antonio

You Can Vote At The AT&T Center This Election, And Get Free Food While You Wait In Line

Early voters arrive at the AT&T Center Wednesday afternoon. The arena is a first-time polling location. Oct. 14, 2020.
Jolene Almendarez for Texas Public Radio
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Early voters arrive at the AT&T Center Wednesday afternoon. The arena is a first-time polling location.

The AT&T Center has been the go-to spot for many of San Antonio's popular events: Spurs games, the rodeo, sold-out concerts. But for the first time ever, it has been turned into a polling location.

The stadium had ample free parking, free food for hungry voters, dozens of voting kiosks and — some reported — quick lines too.

Gavin Rogers is an associate pastor at Travis Park Church in downtown San Antonio.

“I saw that there was a lot of kiosks at the AT&T Center, and I love the Spurs, so I thought it was the perfect place to vote,” Rogers said.

He said he usually votes early at Lions Field Park, but he saw long wait times on social media. He said he waited about 10 minutes to vote at the AT&T Center on Wednesday.

While leaving the stadium, he and others stopped to take selfies by a large Spurs logo — a pre-pandemic tradition that got new life this year.

Another incentive driving voters to the AT&T Center was The Chow Train. The nonprofit food truck usually helps feed people after disasters, assists people experiencing homelessness and teams up with Meals on Wheels. But during early voting and on Election Day, they’re handing out free pulled pork sandwich meals at the AT&T Center.

Joan Cheever, chef and founder of The Chow Train, was preparing salads to add to the bagged meals on Wednesday.

“I think people standing in line, especially on their lunch hour or dinner, need a sandwich,” Cheever said. “I think it’s really important to support people who are voting and I think voting is the most patriotic thing you can do.”

The Chow Train plans to cook more food Thursday, so they won’t be onsite. But for the rest of early voting and on Election Day, they’ll be handing out meals Monday through Friday in the parking lot of the AT&T Center.

Bexar County Elections Department reported that 1,560 people voted at the AT&T Center on the first day of early voting, the highest amount of any single location in county.