Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Golden State Warriors' New Arena in San Francisco: News, Update and Predictions

If there is one thing we should know about relatively new Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, it is that he means business.

Since taking over the team from the cold, dead clutch of former owner Chris Cohan in 2010, he has fired Don Nelson, replaced him with Keith Smart, replaced him with Mark Jackson, acquired David Lee, added a couple good draft picks and rid this franchise of the bad mojo it had carried for decades.

Now, Lacob is onto something else.

He and several others from the Warriors organization met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and reps from the San Francisco Giants organization last week and talked about a possible move from Oakland to San Francisco for the Warriors before the 2017-18 season. Mayor Lee organized the meeting.

To be more specific, the City of San Francisco wants the Warriors to build near AT&T Park, not the other way around.


The Warriors, who call the 40-year-old Oracle Arena their home, have been rumored to be in the market for a new arena for some time now. Oracle Arena is currently the oldest venue still in use by the NBA, although the arena did undergo a renovation that lasted about a year in 1997.

This is the second occurrence of a Bay Area professional team looking to leave the City of Oakland for greener pastures in the last few years. The Oakland A's have seemed determined to leave the Oakland Coliseum for San Jose for the past year now.

Of course, there are people against this move for the Warriors, and it happens to be the same person attempting to stop the A's from leaving Oakland. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has been adamant in her stance to now allow both the A's and Warriors to leave Oakland. Quan, who is in the middle of a potential recall for her job by the City of Oakland, has claimed there are plans to build a new stadium for the A's near Oakland's Jack London Square by 2016.

However, it is tough to stop a train in its tracks, and the Giants and Warriors are two trains heading fast in the right direction as of late. A partnership between the two only fuels the fire.

Even worse for the City of Oakland, Larry Baer and Joe Lacob & Co. are two owners making moves with their respective teams. They are two determined men willing to spend the money to make their franchise better. Having them work together is almost a guarantee this move will happen.

The move of the Warriors to San Francisco will happen. The timespan of their potential move is not evident yet, but the move seems too perfect with the right decision-makers at the helm for it not to happen.

Golden State President Rick Welts mentioned that the potential spot for the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco would be very close to the Giants' AT&T Park.

In 2010, the Giants organization was looking into a possibility to join the Warriors organization in a partnership between the two Bay Area teams, so there has been a good amount of discussion.

Even more, the SFGate.com reported in 2010 that the Giants "won a competitive process that gives them the right to negotiate with the Port of San Francisco to develop 27 acres of port-owned land in the Mission Bay project south of the baseball stadium."

No word on how those talks are going these days.

With the amount of firepower behind this move of the Warriors to San Francisco, it is hard not seeing a move like this getting done. Lacob has said he wants change in Golden State, and what better way than to move it out of Oakland?

Of course, the fan base in Oakland is what would hold this deal back. The Warriors draw a large audience nearly every night with a die-hard fan base simmering on the potential of this team making the playoffs. Now that the new ownership is willing to make moves for big players, interest in this team may be higher than ever.

For that reason, this move will be postponed for awhile.

The renovation of Oracle Arena in 1997 bought this team some time in terms of having to build another arena. But make no mistake, if they build a new arena, it will be in San Francisco, given all the big players and influences in on this potential project from both teams.

I cannot see this move happening before 2015, but a relocation of the Warriors to San Francisco before 2020 is not impossible to imagine.

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