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SF Mayor: We’d love the Warriors — on their dime

San Francisco WarriorsSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee would welcome the Golden State Warriors (NBA) with open arms at a new arena in The City — provided the facility is privately financed.

The team’s lease at Oracle Arena ends in 2017, and the team is looking at whether to move to another facility in the San Francisco area or renew the lease. There are a lot of variables: Oakland is debating the future of the entire Coliseum area and whether other facility upgrades are appropriate and/or affordable. Lee says his office has been talking new arena with the Warriors, but warns any efforts would be privately financed.

“It’s their private investments that have to be laid out there,” Lee told the San Francisco Examiner. “I’m hopeful sports teams will look at San Francisco, and not just for their sports. … The venue has to be successful well beyond those games.”

Of course, privately financed sporting facilities tend to be the rule in San Francisco: AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, was also privately financed. Interestingly, the Warriors have been looking at a new arena near the ballpark; there’s already lots of infrastructure serving the area, and there’s enough land for a new arena to go along with an entertainment district the Giants have been discussing on and off over the years.

Oracle Arena is the oldest facility in the NBA, opening in 1966, two years before the opening of Madison Square Garden, housing the ABA’s Oakland Oaks and the NHL’s California Golden Seals. The Warriors have played there full-time since 1971; the team previously played at the Cow Palace and the Civic Auditorium.


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