The Golden State Warriors took the first significant steps towards a potential move from Oakland to San Francisco Wednesday, as they met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to discuss arena options near AT&T Park. Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber met with Lee, Giants CEO Larry Baer and Jennifer Matz, the city's top executive for economic development.
The meeting centered around potentially building a new state-of-the-art arena near AT&T Park that could open in time for the 2017-2018 NBA season. The Warriors currently reside in the NBA's oldest arena, which was built in 1966. Oracle Arena received extensive renovations in the mid-90s, but it remains far behind some of the newer, cutting-edge arenas around the league.
The Warriors owners have said they are simply considering all their options, which could still include staying in Oakland. They have met with Oakland mayor Jean Quan, and also informed her of their plans to meet with Ed Lee. The team is taking its time in considering its options. Team COO Rick Welts said, "We agreed to explore all feasible options over the next 68 months. Where it goes, where it ends, that will have to play itself out over the next many months."
Oakland remains an option, but the team formerly known as the San Francisco Warriors is not surprising anybody by meeting with San Francisco. There have been rumors floating for several years now that the Warriors would consider a move into the city. The new owners will likely make getting a new arena built a significant priority.
The Giants are working to develop the land around AT&T Park as there is a lot of empty space that is not being used. The Giants are planning to build a parking garage in the area and there remains plenty of space for an NBA-sized arena. Furthermore, the arena could provide another revenue option for the Giants, who are continually looking at ways to add revenue streams for the franchise.