UTSA gives a warm welcome to American Athletic Commissioner Mike Aresco

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Michael L. Aresco joined UTSA on campus this week, kicking off his six-city conference newcomer tour in the Alamo City. The visit provided him with opportunities to see the UTSA Athletics program up close and personal, generate new relationships and even partake in some facility-opening festivities with the Roadrunners.

Aresco kicked off a whirlwind tour schedule on Wednesday afternoon with the press conference at the iconic Alamodome, where he was face to face with the full array of local and campus media. After being welcomed to the city by UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos, Aresco commenced a jam-packed itinerary aimed at learning about the city and engaging with San Antonio natives, business leaders, elected officials, university leaders, coaches, athletics staff and student-athletes. 

"I'm thrilled to be here, and we're really excited about UTSA coming into the conference," Aresco told the media at Wednesday's press event. "They bring so much, and this community brings so much. I kind of said to myself, 'Why didn't we do it before?' You just can't get a better program coming in."

After using the remainder of Wednesday evening to foster new relationships with local stakeholders and elected officials, Aresco got an early start the next morning at the UTSA Main Campus, where he took part in the Roadrunners' official grand opening of the Park West Fieldhouse. The $8 million, 14,325 square-foot facility is located at the UTSA Park West Athletics Complex on Kyle Seale Parkway adjacent to Loop 1604, and delivers a significant step forward for the women's soccer and the men's and women's track & field programs. Just steps from both sports' competition facilities, the fieldhouse gives the Roadrunners a multipurpose community room, locker rooms and team lounges for all three teams, a sports medicine center and specialized equipment area. 

"UTSA has already established itself and the future is extraordinarily bright," Aresco told a standing-room-only crowd in the main fieldhouse meeting room on Thursday. "The Park West Fieldhouse is a resounding success on a number of fronts. It obviously provides a state-of-the-art home for UTSA's excellent track and field and women's soccer teams, and it also deepens what is already a strong connection with the San Antonio and Bexar County communities. The collaboration and alignment on all ends of this project will benefit UTSA student-athletes, younger athletes who will have access to this facility the residents of the city and county, as visitors from across the state of Texas and beyond train and compete here." 

Aresco also invested time on Thursday furthering his relationship with UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, as well as engaging in meaningful dialogue with leaders from San Antonio Sports and the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He spent the afternoon meeting with staff and taking a tour of the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence (RACE), the state of the art facility that opened in 2021—providing Aresco further insights into the university's commitment to excellence. 

"I've learned more about the business community, what's driving employment and what's driving the growth of the community," Aresco said. "I saw more of the city above the River Walk, so I got a little more feel for the city and how dynamic it is, and obviously I've met a lot of people who've been just great to me. The welcoming here has been spectacular and I can see how much people love this city." 

Aresco received a first-hand look at every facet of RACE, the 95,000-square-foot nerve center for student-athlete academics, sports medicine, strength training, equipment and sport training. The tour and his meetings with UTSA's coaches left him with a new appreciation for the people and UTSA's commitment to the future. 

"Now that I have come here, I want people to see the excitement," Aresco said. "I want people to see how I was treated and how great everybody's been and that I really was impressed with the facilities and what Lisa's done here. You've got a really nice setup here and tremendous possibilities for growth. The sky is unlimited for a school like this." 

Although Aresco is a regular San Antonio visitor, the Roadrunners' presence in the league and immediate competitive potential gives the Commissioner an excuse to spend more time in the league's southernmost Texas city. The announcement on Thursday that UTSA is slated to host The American Outdoor Track & Field Championships next spring is another milestone that could bring Aresco back to the city as well. 

Aresco's choice to prioritize UTSA as the first destination among the new schools made a statement to the San Antonio community. His reception from local media, campus and community representatives sends him back to the league office home in Irving with a fresh impression of what the Roadrunners' community brings to the league. 

"They're really excited about coming to The American and they love the school, they love what it can become, but also what it already is, and they know what the future holds," Aresco said. "I found just a great vibe here, that's the best way I can describe it. I was just treated so well; people have been so warm and friendly. They clearly love what's going to happen. And I think they're really going to enjoy being in the conference and they're going to enjoy the exposure that the programs are going to get. UTSA will get a lot of great exposure and we can't overstate how important that's going to be to branding the university and the community."  

- UTSA -