Warriors break ground on privately funded SF arena, only travesty is the entertainment

The Golden State Warriors held their long, long-awaited groundbreaking on their new San Francisco arena this week, which presumably means they’re actually going to build this thing. The event was not without its awkward weirdness, though:

Oooookay. That’s got to be the worst of it, though, right?

Man.

Anyway, the Warriors arena is still being built with $1 billion in private funding, because ownership decided it could make more money by having an arena closer to its wealthier fan base (and to give San Francisco its first arena for hosting concerts and such), which while slightly icky if you consider the whole “San Francisco is for richies while less-richies have to go live in the East Bay” thing is at least the way that matters should work in a world without public subsidies to chase after. And at least East Bay residents can still get to games easily enough — which is good, because it meant at least the Warriors avoided the embarrassment of having a fan from their former city interrupt their welcome-to-their-new-city event, like some other relocating California teams I could name.


21 comments on “Warriors break ground on privately funded SF arena, only travesty is the entertainment

  1. The part that is super funny to me is how in the video most of the audience are in their nice business suits as they’re crammed into folding chairs in a construction area. Nobody looks comfortable at all. The silly acrobats were the only ones dressed like they were supposed to be there.

    ALMOST as funny as how the GMs/owners wear suits to all the games and then throw on a team hat which makes them look like total morons. I think Mark Cuban may be the only exception to that rule. Fascinating how the guys who have more money than God and could thus ignore any social norm are somehow locked into business suits as their only clothing option.

    • The best case scenario for Oracle is to be turned into something akin to what the Forum has become in Inglewood. My guess is that it’s more likely that it will be demolished within a few years of the Warriors leaving, especially if the Coliseum site is redeveloped by the A’s as part of building a new stadium or by some 3rd party without any sports on-site.

    • Sharks will certainly not be leaving San Jose they just signed a new lease and there are more people in the South Bay than in SF. Also the arena might not meet nhl standards.

    • Once they held a seance and couldn’t conjure Scott McKenzie from the Great Beyond, there was a real scramble for ANY kind of entertainment…and “any kind” is what they found.

  2. Like the posters said, the Sharks aren’t coming and the building doesn’t meet NHL specs. You’d have another Brooklyn/Islander debacle on our hands.

    Oracle will most likely be torn down. The value of the land that it sits on is greater than whatever the Warriors debt is. If the arena is torn down, the Warriors don’t have to pay the debt so it would work for all involved. Dubs don’t pay debt and Oakland has more land to sell to the A’s or whoever develops the lot.

    I hope they change the name to SF Warriors. The whole reason that Golden State was created in the first place was because Oakland was considered minor league and small while the team wanted to market to the entire bay area.

    • That’s actually incorrect. When they first decided to leave SF they were going to barnstorm around the golden state. Some games in San Diego, some in sac, some San Jose and some in Oakland. In fact they had already been playing Eventually a deal was reached to play all their games in Oakland after their name had been changed.

      In fact, before the move, they had already been playing games in Oakland regularly. According to this site the San Francisco Warriors played three home games in Oakland in February 1970 alone:
      http://www.landofbasketball.com/results/1969_1970_feb_scores.htm

      • They actually did play games in San Diego and yes, they were still the San Francisco Warriors for a couple seasons even though they were already in Oakland but let’s be real here. They became permanent in Oakland in the early 70’s and had plenty of opportunity to change the name but didn’t.

        They’ve been trying to leave for SF for the longest time now. Finnane & Fitzgerald didn’t have the connections & Cohan didn’t have the money to make it happen but now that it’s actually happening, you would think that they would change the name. Dissatisfaction with being in Oakland is what’s partly triggering the lure of San Francisco but keeping the Golden State moniker sort of defeats the purpose of the move. I have to think the value of the team goes up with having San Francisco in the name.

        People can say that the “Golden State” brand is “hot” but I don’t know. Going 73-9 and almost winning back to back titles is what’s hot, not Golden State.

          • The old “The City” logo was the Golden Gate Bridge. The current logo is the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

  3. I really don’t accept the argument from some fans that the new place is harder to get to. For me, coming in from Sacramento, it makes no difference.

    I just think when the primary tenants think the building will make a profit, they are willing to fund it themselves. SF really needed a building like this. They even managed to get 50 years out of the old place. I opposed Golden 1 Center, but don’t oppose this. Hard to believe SF didn’t already have an arena (Cow Palace doesn’t really count).

    • I’m not worked up about it, but it is definitely harder to get to than the old location for people in much of the greater Bay Area. The Coliseum has both BART and Amtrak access, the new place has neither. Crossing the Bay Bridge is almost always a nightmare.

      You may not accept the argument, since you are already driving two hours anyway. Of course, we’d expect most NBA fans in Sacramento would find it easier to go see their local team.

      Realistically, the biggest barrier to access to the games is ticket price. My children are baseball fans, because that’s the sport we’re able to go see in person.

      • We have a local team, but I’m already priced out of both arenas. I like to walk, though, and the new place isn’t far from BART. I’m the guy, though, who will park 8 blocks from Golden 1 Center in order to get free parking.

        Chase Center will be about 5 minutes from 4th and Townsend.

        Last time I used 4th and Townsend, I then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf to meet my wife, because $15 for an Uber ride to save a 2.5 mile walk seemed ridiculous to me. In other words, no one should ever ask me for an opinion about what constitutes “the immediate area.”

      • The Caltrain station is only about 1/4 mile farther from the Mission Bay site than the BART/Amtrak stations are from Oracle ~3/4 of a mile vs ~1/2 a mile). The arena site has Muni light rail right to the door, which in turn connects to the Caltrain station now and will connect more directly to BART via the Central Subway extension of the T Third line. And there will direct ferry service effectively right to the door. It’s definitely easier to park at the Coliseum given those expansive lots, but actually driving there is not exactly pleasant because traffic on 880 in the afternoon is some of the most nightmarish in the Bay Area. I don’t see any compelling evidence to suggest transit (i.e. non-private car modes of transportation) connections to the new arena will be worse than they are for Oracle.

        • Contrary to its name, CalTrain does not serve much of California. It serves the Peninsula — essentially, it means that for some people in Silicon Valley it’ll be easier to use public transit than it currently is. Of course, BART is scheduled to open stations in San Jose within a few years (they are under construction right now). Muni only serves San Francisco.

          I happily concede that for some people it will be easier (or equally easy) to get to games. However, that’s not true for a majority of people in the Bay Area.

          That doesn’t necessarily matter to team ownership — their arena has limited seating capacity, they already sell out every game, and they want higher ticket prices. That’s fine. I just think that it’s kind of ridiculous to pretend that for most fans the new place is as easy to get to as the old place. It’s not.

          • It’s no more difficult on transit. That’s the point. A huge amount of people ride Caltrain, the ferry, and BART/Muni to AT&T Park. Chase center will be no different. It will take slightly more time to get there from the East Bay on average, just like it currently takes more time on average to get to Oracle from the South Bay or Peninsula. And it still remains a fact that the new place will have two modes of non-bus transit right to the entrances.

      • By the way, just checking on Google Maps, the new arena is under 1/2 mile from CalTrain. Oracle Arena is about the same distance to the Amtrak station. That’s actually a wash.

        https://www.google.com/maps/place/Chase+Center/@37.7690839,-122.3913583,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x808f7fc585572b85:0xad9b497e5d7935a2!8m2!3d37.7688295!4d-122.3894164

  4. Another thing that helps east bay fans who will still follow the team is the advent of the clipper card. This is a card that can be used on just about every form of public transportation in the bay area. You can load it up with as much value as you like so you can now avoid the long lines at the fare machines.

    East bay fans that don’t enjoy long walks will have to transfer from BART to the central subway in San Francisco to get to the arena. Previously, you would have to use your BART card to get on BART and then when transferring to MUNI, you would have to wait in line to get a separate MUNI card. Now, you can just load up the value on your clipper card and hop straight onto the MUNI/central subway with that same clipper card almost as if it’s just another BART route.

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