Formerly located in Tulsa, the Talons relocated their roost to San Antonio’s Alamodome for the 2012 season and soon commanded the skies, placing first in the AFL’s National Conference during their first regular season in Texas. As the players tackle opponents and lob passes on the 50-yard field, the Talons’ mascot, Swoop, pumps up fans while anxiously hoping they don’t crack the eggs incubating under their seats.
The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
Though “The Machine” is an unlikely name for a little girl, flipping phenom and Sunburst Gymnastics Academy student Haley Vasquez certainly earned her title. The diminutive firecracker used her gymnastics training to tackle 143 cartwheels in less than four minutes. Sunburst’s owner and a gymnastics coach of 14 years, Nathan Britt, has fostered a fun and educational atmosphere for kids just like Haley "The Machine" Vasquez for more than 30 years.
Along with his team of skilled gymnasts, Nathan leads recreational gymnastics classes through the high school–level, training youngsters in professional events such as vault, bars, balance beam, pommel horse, and flipping into a zipped-up pair of pants. In the fully air-conditioned gym, the staff also designs and leads programs that teach skill and burn off steam for kids as young as 18 months.
Love to Swim guides a variety of classes that suit swimmers of any age. Groupon customers can select a four week-long, once-a-week session in any of the following categories: baby and me, preschool, school age, pre-competitive, and adult. Classes are student-centered and structured around playful opportunities, with the philosophy of developing confident, masterful swimmers for life. To up the subaquatic ante, all of the center's coaches undergo 20 hours of in-water training and 12 hours of classroom training, learning subjects from curriculum and classroom management to basics of childhood development.
The Ice & Golf Center inspires family-friendly outings with 36 holes worth of mini-golf challenges seven days a week. Unlike traditional golf, gamers of all ages, experience levels, and trouser preferences can enjoy a round of this celebrated pastime. Practice greens welcome players to sharpen their putters and prepare for battle before choosing between two distinct 18-hole courses, and five ponds and two waterfalls proffer a scenic backdrop for taking commemorative hole-in-one snapshots or first-date cell-phone videos. Beyond the vast plains of synthetic turf, putt-putt pugilists can replenish their strength at The Ice & Golf Center's fully stocked concession stand or toast victories in the newly renovated sports bar.
On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, the Missions began what would turn out to be the longest postseason game in Texas League history. Playing against the Arkansas Travelers in the league's championship series, the Missions battled to a 5–4 victory that took 20 innings—and a spillover into Thursday—to settle. The win propelled the Missions to a series sweep, earning the franchise its 12th championship since the Texas League was founded in 1888.
Throughout those 113 years, the Texas League underwent many changes, but San Antonio stood firm—the only one of the league's six original teams to play in three different centuries. As the San Diego Padres' Double-A affiliate, the Missions continue their legacy at their home field, Wolff Stadium, a 6,200-seat facility complete with a grass berm in left field where fans can sprawl out to watch the innings and where umpires sunbathe between games.