Oakland Raiders

Warriors moving to San Francisco – how will the Bay Area change?

You’ve all heard or read the news from Adam Lauridsen. The Golden State Warriors are headed to San Francisco and, as I wrote earlier, they won’t be known as the “Golden State Warriors” for long. Now that we’ve gone over four ways that the franchise will change, let’s tackle what will be different about our region after the Warriors move to “The City.”

1. Oracle Arena will turn into the Cow Palace.

Are you ready for hemp shows in Oakland? Flea markets? Tattoo expos? Oracle is the oldest NBA facility, but it’s far from a dump. Still, once people see the new arena in San Francisco it’ll go from “pretty nice” to “old and busted,” like a certain radio station’s commercial might say. No more NBA basketball, no more high profile concerts. Repairs won’t get done quite as quickly as before, if at all.

2. San Francisco traffic during rush hour is going to be insane. 

Cars on The Embarcadero already move at a snail’s pace during weekday evenings. Even if the Warriors are only planning for 1,000 parking spots at the Piers 30/32 site, MUNI-phobic folks who also hate walking will attempt to park as close as possible to the arena. There will be many who take cabs or limousines to Warriors games, concerts, WWE events, etc. Extra foot traffic to the arena will cause a traffic slowdown from jaywalkers and pedestrians who, when they’re on their way to be entertained, inexplicably cross streets like they were recently tranquilized.

3. The Giants won’t have it quite so easy.

The World Series definitely helped matters, but a big reason why AT&T Park has a sellout streak is because it’s a great excuse to eat, drink and be merry in San Francisco. The Giants rule this town, at least in a marketing sense; soon the Warriors will fight the Giants for advertising space on MUNI buses and light posts. That could be why, as Marcus Thompson II reported, the Giants may continue to negotiate with the Warriors to keep them in their neighborhood. While MLB and NBA seasons don’t overlap all that much, the Giants and the Warriors will theoretically be competing for the same customers: those willing to pay extra to watch sports in a premium facility.

4. Major professional sports in Oakland won’t be around forever. 

The A’s want to go to San Jose and won’t even entertain the option of building a new park in Oakland. The Raiders, noncommittal as always, are keeping their options open — especially since the 49ers won’t be sharing their new stadium in Santa Clara. Coliseum City is probably dead as an idea, and the perception that Oakland isn’t the place to be only becomes more pervasive as the Warriors flee for fancier digs. Of all the East Bay teams, the Warriors are by far the most successful from a financial and fan-engagement standpoint. In five years, the Warriors will probably be gone.

Click here for Part 2, four ways that the franchise will change and Part 3, where we’ll explore how Warriors fans will change. 

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