While its opening could shakeup the NBA arena landscape, the forthcoming Chase Center is also key to the financial future of the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors have been planning the new San Francisco arena as they experience success of historic proportions on the court. The franchise has appeared in three consecutive three NBA Finals–winning two, including last season’s title–and its current roster should keep it competitive in the near future.
Further down the road, however, the Warriors will be left with some major decisions to make as the contracts for several of their key players expire in the coming years. Retaining all of these players could be a challenge given the financial commitments it will require, but the Warriors believe that their move from Oakland’s Oracle Arena to the new Chase Center will be crucial to their future. Not only should it provide an improved experience for basketball, but the arena could help to improve their long-term financial outlook. More from USA Today:
The numbers are mind-numbing. The Warriors’ combined payroll projections between this season and the 2020-21 campaign are set to be an unprecedented $1.1 billion, passing the price tag on the arena itself so long as they hand out the maximum salary contracts necessary to keep this special core together. Curry re-upped with a five-year, $201 million deal last summer, and there’s the forthcoming free agency for Kevin Durant (this summer), Klay Thompson (2019) and [Draymond] Green (2020) that will put them into unprecedented luxury tax territory if they’re all retained.
It’s the kind of economic reality that rival teams hope short-circuits this Warriors’ run, the last, great hope that the “Super Villains” core will be broken up. Except for one thing: Their Death Star, this 11-acre entertainment district that will help owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber balance their books with concerts and shows, doesn’t have a fatal flaw.
“It’s the absolute foundation for our success for – I would argue – decades to come, because it ensures that we’re going to be competitive financially with any other team in the league,” said Warriors president Rick Welts, who has spent recent years shepherding this project while navigating political minefields and, he estimates, taking part in more than 500 arena-related meetings. “Even under this new collective bargaining agreement, the numbers are getting kind of eye-popping, if they weren’t already, in terms of what it’s going to take financially to field a championship-caliber team. And I think our view is that it ensures this future for as far into the future as we can see.”
The Warriors broke ground on the Chase Center earlier this year, and the venue is the subject of intrigue because of its design, planned technology features, and concept for surrounding development. The Warriors are slated to move into the venue in time for the 2019-20 season, and will remain Oracle Arena until it opens.