Oakland Mayor Jean Quan just sent out an email that basically reminds the Golden State Warriors that Oakland exists. That’s the best way to put it since 90 percent of the local media (except this blogger) was ready to already send the Warriors to San Francisco without even a ground breaking ceremony. (Which, I think, most of the media believed the Golden State Warriors Owners party was on Tuesday. It sure as hell looked like one, but the difference is there was no dirt or shovels.) If you didn’t see the party, here it is from my perspective:
And this is Oakland Councilmember and Coliseum Joint Powers Authority member Ignacio De La Fuente’s response:
This is the release Mayor Quan issued today:
“Since 1971 the Golden State Warriors have called Oakland home. The residents of Oakland and the East Bay have embraced the Warriors and made them a part of our City. Together we made them the 10th most attended team in the league. I share with our fans in the great disappointment with the decision to leave Oakland.”
Today, at 1pm, the Mayor will be releasing a balanced budget which will include the cost of the necessary environmental impact studies for the Coliseum City project.
“We still believe that the multi-billion dollar, multi-use entertainment, sports, retail, convention and hotel project known as Coliseum City is the superior option for all three sports teams that currently call Oakland home.”
· The site is currently controlled by the City and County and is already permitted for large sports facilities.
· This means that an arena could be built in as little as 2-3 years from the signing of an agreement, years before the expiration of the current lease of the Warriors.
· Coliseum City is geographically centered in the Greater Bay Area, the site offers the best in transportation options including; BART, AC Transit, Amtrak, the Oakland Airport Connector access to both the 880 and 580 freeways.
· The site also has ample space required for parking.
· Given the minimum $100 million site preparation if the Warriors receive permission to build on the Bay and the $95 million in bond debt from the current arena, Oakland is the more cost effective option.
“Oakland still wants the Warriors to stay and hopes that they reconsider.”
To me, given how far down the road the Warriors owners have gone with the City of San Francisco, that press release is weak. I would recommend a nuclear option, because the problem is that Oakland lacks sports owners who are civic boosters for Oakland. Thus the pull of the teams out of Oakland.
Warriors Owner Joe Lacob says that he thinks Oakland is challenged, and the Warriors are the first shoe to drop in teams that leave. Mayor Quan is going to have to get tough here. Real tough.