Over the course of the past few weeks, it has been rumored that the NBA‘s Golden State Warriors would leave Oakland, and return to their original home in San Francisco. A few sports sites have mentioned this afternoon this rumored move is close to becoming a reality.
The team has reportedly finalized plans to make the move, and could make a formal announcement regarding it as soon as this coming Tuesday. The proposed new arena for the Warriors would be located on San Francisco’s Pier 31/32 and evidently would be funded through private investment. As is almost always the case with new facilities, the arena would be state-of-the-art and multi-purpose, serving not only as a home for the Warriors, but as a concert and entertainment venue when the team was not active.
The current timetable for the new arena is 2017, making the proposed first season for the “San Francisco Warriors” the 2017-2018 NBA campaign.
Announcing a future move like this could have both positive and negative implications for the Warriors franchise.
In all likelihood, Oakland-area advertisers and sponsors who have been on board with the Warriors from day one will start to shy away, given the reality the team will not be a player in the local market long term. While this type of exodus will certainly hurt the Warriors’ bottom line in the short-term, it’s unlikely it will have any long-term implications.
On the plus side, it may be much easier for the Warriors to market the franchise to the other side of the Bay Area than it once was given the fact San Francisco will be the team’s new home sooner than later. The Warriors have always had a handful of loyal fans in San Francisco, but now that the team will eventually call the city home, look for that handful to expand rapidly as the move draws closer.
Obviously, the NBA will have to approve the new arena and the franchise’s request to relocate, but it’s difficult to believe the Warriors would allow news to be leaked if all of this wasn’t already a foregone conclusion.