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Warriors, Authority Disagree Over Oracle Arena Debt

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors and the Coliseum authority are locked in a disagreement over how much the team owes toward remaining debt on Oracle Arena

Oracle Arena originally opened in 1966, though the Warriors committed to a 20-year lease in 1996 that included renovations that were to be paid off over a 30 year-period. Debt of $55 million from that project remains, and where the Warriors and Coliseum authority are in dispute is over how much of that figure is the team’s responsibility.

The authority and executive director Scott McKibben contend that the Warriors owe the net amount, while the team reportedly believes that its share is lower. Under the terms of their agreement, the Warriors pay $7.5 million toward the debt annually, and will continue to do so for the next two years, covering the period before they move to the upcoming Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-20 NBA season.

That move will happen seven years before the Oracle Arena debt is supposed to be retired, and the Warriors and the authority cannot agree on how much the team will owe once they depart the venue. More from The San Jose Mercury News:

The 20-year-old license agreement said the NBA franchise may terminate it after 2007 by “paying the authority a termination payment in an amount sufficient to retire all of the then outstanding bonds, as well as other debts associated with the Arena Project.” After the agreement expired last year, the Warriors had the option to extend it up to five years but opted for a two-year extension.

McKibben and a spokesman for the Warriors would not go into detail about how much the dollar-amount difference is, but authority board member Ignacio De La Fuente said the 1996 agreement is “clear as water.”

“They still have to pay whatever the bonds are — period,” De La Fuente said.

Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder, in a statement, said, “As we’ve always said, the Golden State Warriors will fulfill their obligations under the License Agreement.” He declined to elaborate.

The Warriors and the authority have a two-year lease that covers the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Under the terms of that deal, the Warriors will pay $2.5 million annually in rent, along with $7.5 million toward the renovation debt. Discussions on the debt are expected to resume once the upcoming NBA season gets underway.

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