May 24, 2012

Welcome To The Neighborhood Golden State Warriors

Although they won’t be welcoming their new neighbors with an apple pie for another five years, the San Francisco Giants will have new tenants sharing the Embarcadero with them.

The Golden State Warriors announced this week that they will be returning back to San Francisco in 2017, 46 years after the franchise migrated from there to Oakland. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber held a press conference at Pier 30 and 32, the site where the stadium will stand in half a decade, with Lacob boasting that the stadium would be "the most spectacular arena in the country."

The ownership has continued to set high standards since spending $450 million to purchase the club a year and a half ago. That mammoth amount won’t stop the group from digging deeper into their wallets to fund this new move.

Not only will Lacob, Guber, and the all the other owners have to privately finance the stadium, but they will also have to put up $75-$100 million to renovate both piers before construction can even commence. Along with those costs are the obstacles of dealing with city officials, who still have to approve every procedure necessary prior to the start of building the Warriors’ new abode.

While the track leading to their new quarters appears to be long and full of hurdles before them, leaping over each and every one of them could provide a greater prize than just a gold medal for achievement.

Making San Francisco the home for the Golden State Warriors would be a big boost for the organization in numerous ways.

Calling “Frisco” home would mean the franchise would no longer be swimming with all the small market teams and give them the capability to tread with all the other big market clubs. Instead of floating around next to squads like Minnesota, Sacramento, or Milwaukee; Golden State can now drift with the likes of Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.

Having that ability allows the Warriors to be an attractive location for the league’s stars; which is a recent realization when examining the recent trends of some of the NBA’s most notable headliners.

This new movement began with the formation of the big three in Boston. The Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett from Minnesota and Ray Allen from Seattle to join Paul Pierce, which netted them a title in their first year together. LeBron James ditched Cleveland and roped in Chris Bosh from Toronto to join he and Dwayne Wade to form Miami’s big three.

Carmelo Anthony pouted for over a year and requested Denver send him to New York, even resisting in signing an extension for big bucks just to prove his point. Derron Williams was in a similar situation, as he longed for a change out of Utah for a bigger stage (which he got with New Jersey, who will move their team to a more alluring destination in Brooklyn next season).

Dwight Howard turned Orlando into a soap opera, as he pushed the organization to send him to more attractive locations like Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Dallas. While they didn’t answer his bellowing, the public will continue tuning in as the controversy is sure to continue up until the 2013 trade deadline or (if they don’t ship him away) when he’s up for free agency in the 2013 off-season.

The Golden State ownership understands that landscape of the league is changing and that high-caliber players are now calling the shots in where they would like to call home. They know that the appeal of playing at the Oracle Arena in Oakland is minimal at best and that contending for a championship requires a superstar headliner on your roster. Moving to the city from the town would allow these guys to flirt with possibility of donning on the royal-blue and canary-yellow.

Calling San Francisco home for the Warriors would also mean an influx of income that the franchise would never see if they are to remain in Oakland.

A move to “Frisco” would raise the attention of big companies, sponsors, and investors who would be willing to throw money their way. This would help to alleviate the higher costs the team is surely to face with privately funding, constructing, and maintaining the stadium. The Warriors could also see more face time on television in a bigger market and bring in more high-end spenders willing to pay for tickets, season tickets, luxury boxes, and transportation costs that is sure to be more expensive than at Oracle.

Despite the enticement of sending the team across the Bay Bridge, there will be some set backs if this move actually occurs.

While the devotees of the franchise is mix of fans all over the Bay Area, there will be a percentage of loyal followers who will find this move deplorable, most notably those from the Oakland community. The fan base of the organization is one of the strongest, most appreciative, and arguably, one of the loudest in the NBA.

All of this for a team who has only made the playoffs six times in the past 30 years.

Transporting the team would certainly mean a difference in personalities and passion among the fans in the stands, as the seats will be filling up more upper-class, business-type spectators.

The club’s transfer across the bay would also mean a crippling blow to the city of Oakland as well. For a town that is struggling for revenue, overcoming poverty, and a sizeable volume of social, political, and criminal angst; losing the Warriors would likely decrease the numbers in those troublesome categories.

The change could also be the start of a domino effect for the other professional teams in the area.

The A’s have been working tirelessly with the city to build a brand new stadium, but have been reaching a stalemate in making that dream come true. Now, rumors are circulating that they may be heading to San Jose, where they can make their wish for a new stadium a reality. There has also been a buzz that the Raiders are looking to leave the city as well and head to pastures that are much greener for their profits.

All-in-all, Oakland could see a near-future where all three of their professional teams wave bye-bye to them for new residences.

If the Warriors do end up calling San Francisco home in the next half-decade, it would be a huge boost for the organization; even though there are a few hindrances the organization and Oakland would face. The team could see those issues coming front-and-center early on, but they would reap big benefits in the long run by residing at Pier 30 and 32.

The Giants will surely be ready to welcome their new neighbors, one hand full of silverware and the other holding a fruit-filling pastry.

By Norcal JW with No comments


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