Next for the Warriors: The Oakland Warriors? Or San Francisco Bound?

Jeff MausContributor IAugust 20, 2010

Golden State fans rejoice! Chris Cohan has sold the Warriors! His reign of terror is finally over! People are celebrating, doves are flying through the air, and rainbows are braking out in the sky over Oracle arena!

OK, that pandemonium was fun, but let’s all take a deep breath. Ready? In, and out. Very good. I’m just as excited as any other Warriors fan, but with change at the top come some very big questions to discuss.

Sorry but no, one of the things to discuss is not Anthony Tolliver spurning us too go to the Timberwoves in his The Decision Part Deux!! Although I am a little upset they could let a guy with that good of a sense of humor go, but I digress.

The biggest stories right now in Warriors land are if the rumors of a move to San Francisco could come to fruition, and if the annual chorus of “Change the name to the Oakland Warriors,“ by Oakland journalists, may actually be listened to by the new heads of the team.

This may seem contradictory, but I see no reason to leave Oakland, or remove the Golden State from in front of the Warriors name.

                                                                       Oracle Arena
Built in 1966, Oracle is the oldest arena in use in the NBA (Madison Square Garden is the next oldest having been built in 1968.) In 1996 Oracle went through a $100 Million renovation, and the number of luxury and club seats are comparable to the tops in the league.

On the down side, I can tell you from experience that there are seats where half the court is blocked by the scoreboard, or a random bar is right at your eye level, but these are few and far between. Albeit a nice idea, a new stadium is not a dire need, and the fans prove it.

Warriors fans have always showed up in good numbers, but in a playoff game against the Jazz in 2007 20,679 people showed up to make it the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in California. That record has fallen three times since then in Oracle, most recently in a 2008 game against the Nuggets in which 20,737 people bought tickets.

Now I said that it isn’t a dire need to build a new arena, but these fans deserve one. But ditching Oakland for a pretty new facility in San Francisco is a slippery slope my friends. It would be much safer to build a new one right next to Oracle, and here’s why.

                                                                  A Bay Area Product
Look at the Warriors logo and what do you see? No it’s not the Golden Gate bridge! It’s the uglier older brother the Bay Bridge, or as it was renamed in 1986 the James "Sunny Jim" Rolph Bridge. Yeah that name really rolls off the tongue…

The point is, that the Warriors are not an Oakland team, but a bay area team. A Warriors rep told me that the season ticket holders are spread out almost evenly between the East bay, South bay, and San Francisco. I was unable to find any other NBA team that is supported by three markets that could house a basketball team all by themselves: Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.

Why risk alienating a third of your fan base by moving the team out of Oakland, or alienating the other two thirds by claiming the Warriors are an Oakland team? They’re not. When the franchise moved here from Philadelphia they didn’t play in Oakland, and were called the San Francisco Warriors, but actually played in Daly City, literally right on the border of San Francisco.

Not only do I think a name change and/or stadium move would be a bad idea, but I find it highly unlikely that either would happen after reading a statement issued by one of the new owners, Joe Lacob.

“It is our passion to return the Warriors to greatness and build nothing short of a championship organization that will make all of us in the Bay Area proud.” There it is, straight from the horse’s, or owner’s, mouth. He views the Warriors the same way I do, a Bay Area product, which must mean I’m destined to own the team one day too.

The Warriors are a Bay Area product, and if you needed more proof, just look at our new $80 million man.

                                                       Gavin Newsom REALLY likes David Lee
July 28th 2010 was named Davis Lee day- In San Francisco. He was welcomed with wide open arms, and shown around the mayors office- by Gavin Newsom, not Oakland mayor Ron Dellums.

After being told how excited Mr. Newsom was for him to be a Warrior, David Lee went to visit El Dorado Elementary school to check out the site where the new David Lee basketball court is going to be built. El Dorado Elementary school is in San Francisco.

Why would the new star of a team fly into the town next to the town he plays in? Because this is another example of why the Warriors are the Bay Area’s team, not Oakland’s.

I know my call for no name change or city move is awfully status quo, but there is one thing I think should be changed, and don’t worry you zealous Oakland sports writers, this is for you.

                                                                  Throw Oakland a Bone!
In inspecting the new logo, jersey, and alternate logos, I did notice one small thing that seems to have been misplaced. The primary logo is the Bay bridge. OK, good, the bridge between the two cities in the bay the Warriors have belonged to. But the two alternate logos are the old SF in front of a basketball, and the golden state of California with a white W over it.

Get rid of that California logo and create a new one featuring Oakland! You have one directly related to the city you used to play in, so throw a bone to the city you play in right now. Come on Warriors, are you that afraid to tell the rest of the county you play in Oakland?

So it’s up to you Warriors, give Oakland a little shout out because you play there, dammit! You don’t need to move the stadium because people show up, and will show up in drones if you start winning. Just keep the Warriors a Bay Area product, and you’ll have some of the best fans in the nation throwing their Silicon Valley dollars at you!


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.