Golden State Warriors execs went to San Francisco yesterday to announce their intention to move the franchise away from Oakland by the 2017-18 season.San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee announced that a new arena will be constructed on the waterfront right next to the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park that will bring upon “enormous economic growth for [the] city.”
Team owner Joe Lacob, who has a rocky relationship with Warriors fans already, explained that the Warriors fanbase is split 50/50 between San Francisco and Oakland anyway, and the waterfront location would be best for everyone.
But with both the Oakland A’s and Raiders at the centre of relocation speculation, the Warriors leaving could mean the end of professional sports in Oakland.
Here’s how it could happen:
The Raiders. The Raiders’ lease on the O.co Coliseum in Oakland expires after the 2013 season, and no deal has been made to extend the Raiders’ stay in Oakland as of yet. Raiders owner Mark Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would be open to moving the Raiders back to Los Angeles built by the Anschutz Entertainment Group—owners of the L.A. Kings, L.A. Galaxy and co-owners of the Lakers. There’s also a chance the Raiders could share Santa Clara Stadium, currently under construction, with the San Francisco 49ers.
The A’s. The Athletics, meanwhile, seem to be headed to San Jose, if they can settle a turf war with the Giants. The A’s are seeking a new stadium to play in and owner Lew Wolff has made plans with the city of San Jose to build a new downtown stadium—but the Giants are opposed to the move, claiming that San Jose is located in the Giants territory. Major League Baseball is required to approve all franchise relocations, and Bud Selig has said that there is “no timetable” for settling the two sides’ dispute, according to the Associated Press.
The Warriors. The Warriors have spent the past 41 years in Oakland, where they moved to from San Francisco in 1971. The arena project will be the costliest in NBA history, and according to the Warriors’ official website, the “crumbling” piers where the arena will stand will first have to be prepared—a project that itself will cost $75-100 million. The new site is located 16 miles away from the Warriors’ current home, Oracle Arena.
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