The Warriors are moving to San Francisco for the 2017-2018 season. The Warriors’ lease with Oracle Arena in Oakland ends after the 2016-2017 season, so the Warriors’ new arena will be on Pier 30/32, south of the Bay Bridge and between the Ferry Building and AT&T Park.
The Warriors held a press conference yesterday morning at Pier 30/32 to show the beauty of the location and the excitement of those involved. Ahmad Rashad, sportscaster for NBC Sports, hosted the press conference and introduced all the speakers, which included: San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob, Warriors co-owner Peter Guber, Warriors president and COO Rick Welts, NBA commissioner David Stern, Warriors executive board member Jerry West, former Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom, President and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association Joe D’Allesandro, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, and Warriors starting power forward David Lee.
Ever since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the Warriors a couple years ago, it’s been clear that the new ownership group would move the Warriors to San Francisco at some point. Oracle Arena is currently the oldest arena in the NBA, opening in 1966. Oracle went through renovations during the 1996-1997 season, but the Warriors needed a new arena and San Francisco was the best possible location.
The City of San Francisco will provide the land to the Warriors, who will then have to pay to repair the piers, which will cost roughly $75 to $100 million. This new arena will create thousands of jobs for residents all over the Bay Area and will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and economic growth for the City of San Francisco. The new arena will be privately funded, and will be a multi-use arena for not just basketball, but also for other concerts, conventions, cultural events, etc.
Supposedly, only about 1,000 parking spots are currently available on Pier 30/32, so a parking structure might have to be built as well. If not, the arena is in a prime location for fans to take public transportation such as the Golden Gate Ferry, Muni, Bart, etc.
“With convenient options for BART, Muni, CalTrain and ferry service, this will be one of the most transit-friendly facilities in the nation,” said Warriors co-owner Peter Guber. “We know that’s important for our fans and a real positive to this location.”
Some fans are hoping that this move to San Francisco will lure more free agents to the Warriors because San Francisco is a more desirable location than Oakland. However, this is simply not the case. Once the Warriors start consistently winning and making the playoffs, then free agents will be more compelled to play here. Location isn’t as important as some people think, as some top-tier players are in smaller markets, such as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
About half of Warriors fans seemed to be pleased with the move, and half seem to be frustrated. I believe that this is an excellent move for the Warriors organization, for the City of San Francisco, and for the fans, most importantly. The Warriors will have a state-of-the-art arena, and fans will have a much more enjoyable experience overall.
Although the majority of attention on the Warriors is now on 2017, it is important for Warriors fans to stay in the present. This is definitely exciting news for Warriors fans, but Mark Jackson stressed the importance of supporting the team now and that winning is still their focus, for now and once they move to San Francisco. Hopefully the Giants will respond to this attention by winning consistently this upcoming season.