According to a statement released by his family on Monday, The Texas billionaire, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings in the National Football League, Red McCombs passed away on Sunday at his home in San Antonio at the age of 95.
According to the reports of NFL.com, Red was a brilliant entrepreneur who touched countless lives and affected our community in infinite ways. Yet, we will always remember him as “Dad” or “Poppop” first and foremost. The death of such a prominent figure in Texas is deeply felt.
He acquired the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association and moved them to San Antonio for the 1973–1974 season where they would become known as the Spurs.
In 1982, McCombs sold his stake in the Spurs to purchase the Nuggets and then again in 1985 to repurchase his stake in the Spurs the following year. In 1988, he bought out the other investors and became the sole owner of the squad.
“We named them [the Spurs] after the city he grew up in [Spur, Texas]. So that tells you a lot about his influence on the Spurs.”
The Spurs were sold once more by McCombs in 1993. The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver has referred to McCombs as a driving factor in building the contemporary NBA.
McCombs bought the Vikings for $246 million in 1998, continuing his pattern of buying sports clubs and then selling them after only a few years. He sold the NFL franchise to the Wilf family for $600 million after becoming disenchanted with their attempts to build a new stadium while he was the owner (in 2005). His tenure saw the Vikings make it to the NFC Final Game twice.
“He was an innovator and savvy entrepreneur who never shied away from taking risks,” Silver said in a statement.
After transferring the torch to the Wilf family in 2005, “Red personified his renowned ‘Purple Pride’ motto and remained an ardent Vikings fan,” according to a statement released by the team. “While it was obvious that Red’s greatest love was for his family, his devotion to sports was undeniable. We are keeping the McCombs family in our prayers at this time.”
“Red embodied his famous ‘Purple Pride’ phrase and remained a staunch Vikings fan after passing the torch to the Wilf family in 2005,” the team said in a statement. “While Red had a clear passion for sports, it was evident what he loved the most were his children and grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCombs family during this difficult time.”
McCombs also had a significant impact on the revival of Formula One in the United States. Since 2012, the U.S. Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, the first purpose-built F1 racetrack in the United States.
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The Texas track and yearly grand prix were crucial to the international racing series’ success in making a name for itself in the United States. In 2023, the United States will play host to three different Formula One races: at Austin, Miami and the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.
According to McCombs Enterprises, McCombs was the owner of more than 400 companies throughout his lifetime, and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas in Austin bears his name in honor of his success in the commercial world.
Red McCombs’s wife Charline passed away in December 2019. His legacy lives on through his three daughters, Lynda McCombs, Marsha Shields, and Connie McNab, as well as eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
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