Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Warriors Move to SF

I don't always blog about basketball, but when I do, it's about something as important as the relocation of the Golden State Warriors.

After owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber told fans exactly what they've known for two days now, it is now official that the Warriors are planning a move to a brand new waterfront arena near AT&T Park on the San Francisco Pier after their Oracle Arena lease ends in 2017.

This comes as no surprise to anyone. When Lacob and Guber bought the team, immediate speculation about a possible move to SF created some buzz. What I'm more interested in is if this move will spark a mass exodus out of Oakland. The Oakland A's have long been pursuing a new stadium in nearby San Jose. The Raiders have been linked to a possible move to Los Angeles, and even if that doesn't happen, everyone knows they want a new stadium.

Oakland could very well find itself without a sports team soon. And that would be a shame for such a great sports city to lose its three teams in a matter of a decade.

The most likely team to stay would be the Raiders, mostly because the Warriors already have their new stadium deal in the works and the A's have been behind MLB's back for a few years to try to get them to approve their plans for a new ballpark in San Jose. Oakland has to do all it can to keep the Raiders. It needs to get started on a new stadium measure. A good model for this process would be the cross-bay 49ers, who seemed to go through the stadium process quite speedily.

It'll be fun to see the Warriors return to "The City," as their awesome jerseys indicate. It'll be cooler to see the A's get out of the decrepit old Coliseum. But it'll be a shame to see the Raiders leave the city where they are deeply loved.

The Warriors are gone, and the A's are as good as gone. Oakland must hold onto the one team it has left: the Oakland Raiders.

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