Tejano Music Awards will make in-person return this fall at San Antonio's Tech Port Arena

The Nov. 26 ceremony also will mark its debut at the new, $70 million South Side venue.

click to enlarge Three-time Grammy award-winning Tejano artist Sunny Sauceda performs following a press conference at San Antonio's Tech Port Arena. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
Three-time Grammy award-winning Tejano artist Sunny Sauceda performs following a press conference at San Antonio's Tech Port Arena.
The 42nd Annual Tejano Music Awards will take place in November at San Antonio's Tech Port Center + Arena, officials said Wednesday, unveiling plans for the first in-person version of the ceremony since 2019.

Over the past two years, the event, previously staged at the Alamodome, was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's installment, set for Nov. 26, will also mark its debut at Tech Port, the 3,200-seat South Side venue that opened in May.

"There's a lot of people that are excited to return back to in-person events," District 4 City Councilwoman Adriana Garcia said at a press conference announcing the plans. "I'm looking forward to everybody celebrating and dancing together."

The event's new location at Tech Port, located on the grounds of the former Kelly Air Force Base, is a homecoming for Tejano music and culture, Port San Antonio Board Chair Chris Alderete said.

"We are here on the grounds of the former Kelly Airforce Base, where many employees, mainly Latinos, would commute here to come to work here at Kelly Air Force Base — now Port San Antonio," he said. "And on their way on their commute, guess what they were listening to? Tejano music."

Alderte added: "I look at it personally, as it's coming home. Coming home to the Southwest part of our city, and to celebrate all the great artists that will be playing."

That homecoming was celebrated by three-time Grammy-winning Tejano artist Sunny Sauceda, who performed following the press conference.

The Tejano Music Awards is just the latest big event scheduled for Tech Port, however.

Since opening, the $70 million state-of-the-art arena has hosted Mayor Ron Nirenberg's State of the City address and performances by artists including Smashing Pumpkins. Shows by indie band Modest Mouse, legendary metal group Judas Priest and others are on the books.

Even so, the Tejano Music Awards' return is more than just another event, Councilwoman Garcia said. It's part of the city's collective culture and history.

"As someone who grew up here in the South Side, born and raised, my family, friends, neighbors and the residents that I represent have vivid memories of attending weddings and quinceanera's and gatherings where Tejano music was blasting, and the dance floor was filled with people," she said. "It's become part of our collective memories and a treasured part of our history.

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