The Warriors may have left their hearts in San Francisco. They will leave their “Golden State” name in Oakland.
The team plans on moving out of Oracle Arena, the oldest venue in the NBA, after the 2017-2018 season. The Warriors will have a new home across the Bay in San Francisco. Along with the move, the Warriors look for a new name. The team plans on keeping its nickname, which predates the NBA when the franchise started in Philadelphia in the forties, but looks to ditch the broad and odd geographic designation. Before becoming the Golden State Warriors, the team called itself the San Francisco Warriors, so a reversion to the old name may be the thinking. Alternatively, prefixing Warriors with “Bay Area” might be inclusive enough to retain the old Oakland fan base.
Though the team ran into resistance seeking public financing for a new home in Oakland, and from San Franciscans when unveiling plans for a waterfront arena there, they have finally found a fit in the Mission District of San Francisco with the purchase of twelve acres of private property. The team plans on raising capital without public assistance for the billion-dollar project.
“I think we’re very cognizant also that Oakland and Alameda counties have some very serious issues to prioritize,” Warriors president and CEO Rick Welts told ESPN. “And we’re very understanding that the Golden State Warriors, in terms of an investment of public money, isn’t one of the places that those in charge of the future of Oakland feel like is the most needy in terms of the issues and problems that the people are trying to address here.” The Oakland Raiders, freed from a lease agreement with the Oakland Coliseum after this season, may be the next franchise to escape Oakland.
The Golden State Warriors find themselves facing a 2-1 deficit in their opening-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers. The teams play game four on Sunday afternoon on ABC.