The Golden State Warriors are coming home
From 1962 to 1971, San Francisco was the home of the Warriors. Their final year in the City, the franchise changed their name to become more “geographically appropriate,” as the Golden State Warriors. Since 1972, Oakland has been where the Warriors have showcased their talents, but it won’t be for much longer. This past Tuesday, the Warriors officially broke-ground for their new home, aiming for a return to San Francisco for the 2019-20 season. Chase Arena will become the new home for one of the most star-studded teams in the NBA.
The billion dollar project was not a “slam-dunk” idea from the beginning, as many tax-paying citizens of the Bay Area were not fond of the plans that would cause major construction, detours, and of course the increase in taxpayer funds. However, Warriors ownership, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, have taken on the vast majority of the financial responsibility by privately financing the new venue. In addition to Warriors ownership heading the project, JPMorgan Chase has signed the naming rights for the arena for the next twenty years at an amount estimated near 300 million dollars. The deal ranks as the richest ever for a naming-rights contract in the U.S.
Oracle Arena is the current home to Golden State, and is known to be one of the loudest in the league, nicknamed, “Roaracle.” So why the push by ownership to move? This can be answered simply with one word – money. The Warriors have been voted as the most popular team in the NBA the past three seasons. Even before the last two record-breaking seasons, NBA fans were noticing the unique playstyle of the Dubs, and they wanted to see as many threes taken and made as possible. The Splash Brothers (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) have been the driving force for the Warriors’ grown popularity, as well as fellow All-Star Draymond Green. Additionally, some of you might’ve heard about the other superstar addition the Warriors made this offseason by winning the “Kevin Durant sweepstakes.” The Warriors didn’t keep the possibility of moving back to San Francisco a secret to KD, and it might have actually been the last push they used in order to get Durant to sign with them this past summer.
Moving back across the Bay to their original home, the Warriors are now primed to become one of the wealthiest franchises in the league, led by a star-studded roster, a brand new arena, and playing in one of the largest markets in the country. For Durant, this is an opportunity he never had in Oklahoma City. He now has the ability to showcase his brand in a big-market city like San Francisco. For KD, Steph, Klay and Dray, along with the entire organization, the future looks bright.