You don’t usually see this sort of thing proposed for G-League teams, but the Golden State Warriors are in the early stages of outlining a new downtown Santa Cruz development that would include a new arena for its Santa Cruz Warriors team.
The Santa Cruz Warriors currently play at Kaiser Permanente Arena, which originally opened in 2012 as a temporary 2,500-seat arena until a new permanent home opened. It’s a very limited venue, lacking a kitchen for concessionaires or workout facilities for players. So far there’s been little progress in building a new home, and with the team’s lease up in 2023, both sides feel a little urgency in a providing a new solution. With Santa Cruz economic-development officials now involved, the parameters of arena development are now different.
Which makes the tentative plan from the Warriors so interesting. There have been plenty of arena projects undertaken with the promise of economic development, but rarely at the G-League level. From Santa Cruz Local:
The new arena could fuel an expansion of downtown Santa Cruz toward the beachside area, so there’s plenty at stake.
This is not a huge project, to be sure; we’re talking a new 3.500-seat arena with lots of upgrades. But it’s interesting that even such a modest venue is being pitched as an economic-development and housing project, not just a quality-of-life proposal designed to keep pro basketball in town.