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About San Antonio

san antonio

San Antonio (/ˌsæn ænˈtni/ Spanish for “Saint Anthony“), officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populous city in the United States and the second most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States.[5] Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in Texas in 1731, making it the state’s oldest municipality.[6][7] The city’s deep history is contrasted with its rapid growth: it was the fastest-growing of the top ten largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000.[8][9] Straddling the regional divide between South and Central Texas, San Antonio anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion colloquially known as the “Texas Triangle“.

San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Recent annexations[10] have extended the city’s boundaries into Medina County and, for a tiny area near the city of Garden Ridge, into Comal County.[11] Since San Antonio was founded during the Spanish Colonial Era, it has a church (San Fernando Cathedral) in its center, on the main civic plaza in front, a characteristic of many Spanish-founded cities, towns, and villages in Spain and Latin America. As with many other Western urban centers, areas outside the city limits are sparsely populated.

San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly called Greater San Antonio, the metro area has a population of 2,473,974 based on the 2017 US Census estimate, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.

San Antonio was named by a 1691 Spanish expedition for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is June 13. The city contains five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, including The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which together were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.[12] Other notable attractions include the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, SeaWorld, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Morgan’s Wonderland amusement parks. According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. It is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, and hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.

The U.S. armed forces have numerous facilities in and around San Antonio; Fort Sam Houston is the only one within the city limits. Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis, and Camp Stanley are outside the city limits. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining parts of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park and aerospace complex. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.

Geography

San Antonio is near 29.5°N 98.5°W. It is about 75 miles (121 km) to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital, about 190 miles (310 km) west of Houston, and about 250 miles (400 km) south of the Dallas–Fort Worth area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000 the city had a total area of 412.07 square miles (1,067.3 km2)—407.56 square miles (1,055.6 km2) (98.9%) of land and 4.51 square miles (11.7 km2) (1.1%) of water. The city sits on the Balcones Escarpment. Its altitude is 772 feet (235 m) above sea level.

The city’s primary source of drinking water is the Edwards Aquifer. Impounded in 1962 and 1969, respectively, Victor Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake were among the first reservoirs in the country built to use recycled treated wastewater for power plant cooling, reducing the amount of groundwater needed for electrical generation.

Demographics

2010

According to the 2010 US Census, 1,327,407 people resided in the city proper of San Antonio, an increase of 16.0% since 2000.

The racial composition of the city based on the 2010 US Census is as follows:[43]

In addition, 63.2% of the city’s population was of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.

2000

According to the 2000 US Census, the city proper had a population of 1,144,646,[44] ranking it the ninth-most populated city in the country. Due to San Antonio’s low density rate and lack of significant metropolitan population outside the city limits, the metropolitan area ranked just 30th in the US with a population of 1,592,383.[45] San Antonio has a large Hispanic population with a significant African American population.[46]

Subsequent population counts, however, indicate continued rapid growth in the area. As stated above, the 2010 US Census showed the city’s population at 1,327,407,[47] making it the second-most-populous city in Texas (after Houston), as well as the seventh-most-populous city in the United States. The 2011 US Census estimate for the eight-county San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan area placed its population at 2,194,927,[48] making it the third-most populous metro area in Texas (after Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Houston Metropolitan Area) and the 24th-most populous metro area in the US. The metropolitan area is bordered to the northeast by Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos, and the two metropolitan areas together combine to form a region of over 4.1 million people.

About 405,474 households, and 280,993 families reside in San Antonio. The population density is 2,808.5 people per square mile (1,084.4 km2). There are 433,122 housing units at an average density of 1,062.7 per square mile (410.3 km2).

The age of the city’s population distributed as 28.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. In San Antonio, 48% of the population are males, and 52% of the population are females. For every 100 females, there are 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $36,214, and the median income for a family is $53,100. Males have a median income of $30,061 versus $24,444 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,487. About 17.3% of the population and 14.0% of families are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 24.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Source:[49]

Economy

San Antonio has a diversified economy with about a $96.8 billion metropolitan Gross Domestic Product. This ranks the city 4th among Texas metropolitan areas and 38th in the United States.[51] San Antonio’s economy is focused primarily within the military, health care, government-civil service, financial services, oil and gas, and tourism sectors. Within the past twenty years, San Antonio has become a significant location for American-based call centers and has added a sizable manufacturing sector centered around automobiles.

Located about 10 miles northwest of Downtown is the South Texas Medical Center, which is a conglomerate of various hospitals, clinics, and research (see Southwest Research Institute and Texas Biomedical Research Institute) and higher educational institutions.

Over twenty million tourists visit the city and its attractions every year, contributing substantially to the city’s economy, primarily due to The Alamo and River Walk.[52] The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center alone hosts more than 300 events each year with over 750,000 convention delegates from around the world. Tourism provided over 130,000 jobs, and had an economic impact of $13.6 billion in the local economy.[53] The City of San Antonio received $195 million in the same year from the hospitality industry, with revenues from hotel occupancy tax, sales taxes and others.

San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies: Valero Energy, Andeavor (formerly known as Tesoro Corp), USAA, iHeartMedia, NuStar Energy and CST Brands, Inc..[54] H-E-B, the 13th-largest private company in the United States[55] is also headquartered in San Antonio. Other companies headquartered in San Antonio include: Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Carenet Healthcare Services, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Visionworks of America, Frost Bank, Harte-Hanks, Kinetic Concepts, SWBC, NewTek, Rackspace, Taco Cabana, Broadway Bank, Zachry Holdings/Zachry Construction Company, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, SWBC, SAS, and Whataburger. The North American Development Bank, a development institution jointly held by the governments of the U.S. and Mexico is also headquartered in San Antonio. Other notable companies that maintain sizable presernces in the city include Hulu, OCI, Kaco New Energy, Silver Spring Networks, Toyota, Argo Group, EOG Resources, Microsoft, Cogeco Peer1, and Boeing, among others.

In 2015, San Antonio ranked No. 50 on Forbes list of the Best Places for Business and Careers, with a ranking of 15th best market for job growth.[56]

Military installations

The city is home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the United States, and has become known as Military City, USA. The city is home to several active military installations: Lackland Air Force Base, Brooke Army Medical Center, Randolph Air Force Base, and Fort Sam Houston. The defense industry in San Antonio employs over 89,000 and provides a $5.25 billion impact to the city’s economy.[57]

Culture and Attractions

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination.

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio (“the Alamo”), located in Downtown, is Texas’ top tourist attraction. Because of the mission, San Antonio is often called the “Alamo City”.[60]

The River Walk, which meanders through the Downtown area, is the city’s second-most-visited attraction, giving it the additional nickname of “River City.” Extended an additional 13 miles between 2009–2013, the landscaped walking and bike path line the San Antonio River from the “Museum Reach” beginning in Brackenridge Park through downtown, “Downtown Reach”, past the Blue Star’s “Eagleland” to the “Mission Reach” ending near Loop 410 South past Mission Espada.[61] Lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as the Arneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period (except for the Mission Reach), and is suffused with the local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio.

The Downtown Area also features San Fernando Cathedral, The Majestic Theatre, Hemisfair (home of the Tower of the Americas, and UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures), La Villita, Market Square, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, and the historic Menger Hotel. The Fairmount Hotel, built in 1906 and San Antonio’s second oldest hotel, is in the Guinness World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact. It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo, over four days in 1985, and cost $650,000 to move.

The city is home to two animal attractions. SeaWorld, 16 miles (26 km) west of Downtown in the city’s Westover Hills district, is the number 3 attraction and one of the largest marine life parks in the world. The very popular and historic San Antonio Zoo is in the city’s Brackenridge Park. A third animal attraction is in development by British company Merlin Entertainments to accompany SeaWorld as a second aquarium attraction and indoor counterpart. The new attraction will be inside the Shops at Rivercenter in Downtown San Antonio and will be one of Merlin’s Sea Life Aquariums. It is expected to open by summer 2018.

San Antonio is also home to several commercial amusement parks, including Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Splashtown and Morgan’s Wonderland, a theme park for children with special needs.[62] Kiddie Park, featuring old-fashioned amusement rides for children, was established in 1925, and is the oldest children’s amusement park in the U.S.

San Antonio is home to the first museum of modern art in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Other art institutions and museums include ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Buckhorn Saloon & Museum (where visitors can experience something of cowboy culture year round), San Antonio Museum of Art, formerly the Lonestar Brewery, Say Sí (mentoring San Antonio artistic youth), the Southwest School of Art, Texas Rangers Museum, Texas Transportation Museum, the Witte Museum and the DoSeum. An outdoor display at North Star Mall features 40-foot (12 meters)-tall cowboy boots.

The city’s five missions, the four in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park plus the Alamo, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 5, 2015. The San Antonio Missions became the 23rd U.S. site on the World Heritage List, which includes the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty. It is the first site in Texas. The new Mission Reach of the River Walk was completed in 2013, and created over 15 miles of biking, hiking, and paddling trails that connect the Missions to Downtown and the Broadway Corridor.[63]

Other places of interest include the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the Sunken Garden Theater, The Woodlawn Theatre and the Majik Theatre, a children’s educational theater.

In 2015 work was authorized to begin on the restoration of the former Hot Wells hotel, spa, and bathhouses on the San Antonio River on the city’s south side.[64]

Sports

The city’s only top-level professional sports team, and consequently the team most San Antonians follow, is the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome (which was speculatively built in an attempt to lure a professional football team to the region), and before that the HemisFair Arena. They moved into the SBC Center in 2002 (since renamed the AT&T Center), built with public funds.

The AT&T Center is also home to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, who are owned by the Spurs organization. San Antonio is home to the Double-A San Antonio Missions who play at Nelson Wolff Stadium and are the minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

San Antonio had a professional soccer franchise when the San Antonio Thunder played two seasons in the original NASL during the 1975–1976 seasons. Professional soccer returned with the birth of the San Antonio Scorpions of the modern NASL in 2012. The Scorpions won the 2014 Soccer Bowl, the first soccer championship in city history. On December 22, 2015, it was announced that Toyota Field and S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex were sold to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, a deal which was accompanied by an agreement for Spurs Sports and Entertainment to operate the facilities and field a team that plays in the United Soccer League. San Antonio FC began play in the soccer-specific stadium, Toyota Field, in 2016. As a result, the San Antonio Scorpions franchise of the NASL was shut down. San Antonio has two rugby union teams, the Alamo City Rugby Football Club, and San Antonio Rugby Football Club.

The San Antonio metropolitan area’s smaller population has so far contributed to its lack of an NFL, MLB, NHL, or MLS team. City officials are said to be attempting to lure the National Football League permanently to San Antonio. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stated San Antonio was successful in hosting the New Orleans Saints, and that the city would be on the short list for any future NFL expansions.[citation needed] The city has also hosted the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers preseason camps in the past, and the Cowboys practiced in San Antonio through 2011.[67] Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged his support for the city to become home to an NFL franchise.[68]

The Valero Texas Open is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour held at San Antonio since 1922. It has been played at TPC San Antonio since 2010. Previous venues include the Brackenridge Park Golf Course, La Cantera Golf Club and Pecan Valley Golf Club; the latter also hosted the 1968 PGA Championship. The Alamo Ladies Classic was an LPGA Tour event held from 1960 to 1973.

The first Rising Phoenix World Championships was held at Grand Hyatt, San Antonio in 2015.

College sports

The University of Texas at San Antonio fields San Antonio’s main NCAA Division I athletic teams, known as the UTSA Roadrunners. The teams play in Conference USA. The University added football in 2011, hiring former University of Miami coach Larry Coker as its initial head coach. Roadrunner football began play in 2011, with a record of 4-6. UTSA set attendance records for both highest attendance at an inaugural game (56,743) and highest average attendance for a first year program (35,521).[citation needed] The Roadrunners moved to the Western Athletic Conference in 2012, and to Conference USA in 2013. University of the Incarnate Word also fields a full slate of NCAA Division I athletic teams, known as the Incarnate Word Cardinals; however, their football team competes in the football championship subdivision in the Southland Conference.

San Antonio hosts the NCAA football Alamo Bowl each December, played among the Big XII and Pac-12 each December in the Alamodome. The city is also home of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl,[69] played annually in the Alamodome and televised live on NBC. The Bowl is an East versus West showdown featuring the nation’s top 90 high school senior football players. The game has featured NFL stars Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and many other college and NFL stars.

The University of Texas at San Antonio fields the only collegiate men’s rugby team in the city. UTSA competes in Division III Texas Rugby Union.

Education

San Antonio hosts over 100,000 students in its 31 higher-education institutions. Publicly supported schools include UT Health San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Texas A&M University–San Antonio, and the Alamo Community College District. UTSA is San Antonio’s largest university.

Private universities include Trinity University, St. Mary’s University, Our Lady of the Lake University, University of the Incarnate Word, Webster University, Baptist University of the Américas, Hallmark University, Oblate School of Theology, and the Southwest School of Art, which enrolled its first BFA class in 2014. The San Antonio Public Library serves all of these institutions along with the 19 independent school districts within the Bexar County/San Antonio metropolitan area.[87]

The city is home to more than 30 private schools and charter schools. These schools include: Keystone School, St. Gerard Catholic High School, Central Catholic Marianist High School, Incarnate Word High School, Saint Mary’s Hall, The Atonement Academy, Antonian College Preparatory High School, San Antonio Academy, Holy Cross High School, Providence High School, The Carver Academy, Keystone School, TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, St. Anthony Catholic High School, Lutheran High School of San Antonio, and Harmony Science Academy.

San Antonio is home to U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). The Air Force only has one location for enlisted basic training: the 737th Training Group, at Lackland Air Force Base. All new Air Force recruits go through the same basic training at Lackland. Each year, over 35,000 new recruits go through AFBMT. In addition, METC (the Military Education and Training Campus), which provides the medical training for the U.S. military at Fort Sam Houston, hosts 30 programs and over 24,000 annual graduates. It is the largest medical education center in the world.

San Antonio is also home to a campus of The Culinary Institute of America [88]

Transportation

Air

The San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is located in uptown San Antonio, about eight miles north of Downtown. San Antonio International is the 6th busiest airport based on passenger boardings in Texas and 44th in the United States.[92] It has two terminals and is served by 11 airlines serving 42 destinations. In May 2017 Air Canada opened its reach to Texas creating a non-stop flight between San Antonio and Toronto. Stinson Municipal Airport is a reliever airport located six miles (10 km) south of Downtown San Antonio. The airport has three runways and is also home to the Texas Air Museum.

Mass transit

A bus and rubber tired streetcar (bus) system is provided by the city’s metropolitan transit authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit. VIA’s full fare monthly unlimited Big Pass is $38 per month. VIA began operating a Bus Rapid Transit line known as VIA Primo[93] in December 2012, which connects Downtown San Antonio to the South Texas Medical Center, the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the independent enclave city of Leon Valley.

In August 2010, VIA Metropolitan Transit unveiled buses that are powered by diesel-electric hybrid technology.[94] The 30 hybrid buses were put into service on VIA’s express routes to serve daily commuters across the city. This set of buses follows the introduction of new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, which were unveiled in May 2010. In the fall of 2010, VIA took delivery of three new buses that are powered by electricity from on-board batteries. These buses serve the Downtown core area, and are the first revenue vehicles VIA operates which have zero emissions.[94]

VIA offers 89 regular bus routes and two Downtown streetcar routes. This includes express service from Downtown to park and ride locations in the south, west, northwest, north central and northeast sides of the city, with service to major locations such as UTSA, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld. VIA also offers a special service to city events including Spurs games and city parades from its park and ride locations. VIA has, among its many routes, one of the longest local transit routes in America. Routes 550 (clockwise) and 551 (counterclockwise) travel 48 miles (77 km) one way as they loop around the city.[95]

Rail

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides service to San Antonio at San Antonio Amtrak Station, operating the Texas Eagle daily between San Antonio and Chicago‘s Union Station.[96] Amtrak also operates the Sunset Limited three times a week in each direction through San Antonio between Los Angeles and New Orleans.

The Texas Eagle section travels between San Antonio and Los Angeles as part of the Sunset Limited. The old Sunset Station is now an entertainment venue owned by VIA and neighbored by the current station and the Alamodome.[97]

Freight service from San Antonio to Corpus Christi is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad. The predecessor route, including passenger service, from 1913 to 1956 was provided by the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad, or “The Sausage”, as it was commonly termed. The SAU&G was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1956 and subsequently subsumed by the Union Pacific.[98][99]

San Antonio became the largest American city without an intra-city rail system when Phoenix, the former largest city without such a system, procured one in 2008. A proposed passenger rail line, LSTAR, would link San Antonio to Austin.[100]

Road

San Antonio is served by these major freeways:

Other highways include:

  • US 87: Southbound to Victoria along Roland Avenue then Rigsby Avenue. It runs concurrent with I-10 for 52 miles (84 km) where it goes to San Angelo northbound.
  • US 181: Starts 0.5 miles (0.8 km) south of I-410/I-37/US 281 interchange and heads toward Corpus Christi via Beeville. Prior to I-37 being built, US 181 traveled along Presa St. from Downtown to its current alignment.
  • State Highway 16: From Freer, it runs concurrent with I-410 for 17 miles (27 km) along southwest San Antonio, over to Bandera Road to Bandera
  • State Highway 130: Starting at its southern terminus at I-35 South, it travels along East S Loop 410 until I-10/US-90, where it runs concurrently with the interstate until outside of Seguin, turning into a state toll road.
  • State Highway Spur 421: Also known more commonly as “Culebra Rd.” and “Bandera Rd.” inside Loop 410.
  • State Highway Spur 422: Known as the Poteet Jourdanton Freeway. It was originally planned to have a high speed direct connection to I-35.
  • State Loop 345: Fredericksburg Road by locals; is the business loop for I-10 West/US-87 North.[101]
  • State Loop 368: Broadway and Austin Highway by locals; is the business loop for I-35 North.[102]
  • State PA 1502 (Wurzbach Parkway): Limited-access, high speed road parallel to north IH-410. It has connections to I-35 (via O’Connor Rd.) and I-10 (via Wurzbach Rd.) across the north side of town.
  • State Loop 353: Nogalitos Street and New Laredo Highway is the business loop for I-35 South.[103]
  • State Loop 13: Is the city’s inner loop on the south side serving Lackland AFB, Port San Antonio, South Park Mall and Brooks CityBase traveling along Military Dr. on the south side and WW White Rd. on the east side to its junction with I-35/I-410. The northern arc of the loop is now I-410.

Along with FM 471, FM 1957, and State Highway 211

Also, the city has multiple streets with the same (or similar) names. As examples:

  • “Military Dr.”, “Military Hwy.”, and “Military Dr. West” — Military Drive loops around the western and southern parts of the city. Military Highway, also called “Northwest Military Drive” by the locals, serves the northwestern part of the city. Military Drive West serves the far western portion of the city. None intersect each other.
  • “Wurzbach Rd.”, “Wurzbach Pkwy.”, and “Harry Wurzbach Rd.” — Wurzbach Rd. serves the northwestern part of the city. Wurzbach Pkwy., an expressway, is a east-west road serving the northwestern and northeastern parts of the city (and can be considered an extension of Wurzbach Rd.). Harry Wurzbach Rd. runs past Fort Sam Houston and Terrell Hills on the city’s northeast side, and it does not intersect Wurzbach Rd. or Wurzbach Pkwy.
  • “Hausman Rd.” and “S. Hausman Rd.” are two roads serving Helotes and the far northwest side of the city. Hausman is a major road, and a route used by locals of Helotes and NW San Antonio as an alternative to Loop 1604 connecting to I-10. S. Hausman is a suburban road that does not connect with Hausman (despite its name).

Of the five largest cities in Texas, San Antonio is the only one without toll roads. (Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth have toll roads.)

Bicycle paths

San Antonio has about 136 miles (219 km) of bike lanes, routes or off-road paths.[104] Off-road trails travel along the San Antonio River, linear greenways, or city parks. Although largely disconnected, the progress to create a bicycle-friendly environment was recognized when San Antonio was designated a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists.[105]

Bicycle sharing

A bike sharing service was approved by the city council on June 17, 2010.[106] The initial program consisted of 140 bikes at 14 locations supported by a “central hub”. It is expected to serve both residents and visitors. San Antonio Bike Share, a non-profit, was formed to oversee the operation, locally operated and maintained by Bike World. B-Cycle, the same system used in Denver, supplies the bike share system. It began operation in March 2011.[107]

Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked San Antonio the 40th-most walkable of the fifty largest cities in the United States. With an average Walk Score of 33, San Antonio is one of the most car-dependent major cities in America.[108]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “San Antonio”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

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