Warriors for sale
Let the bidding begin. Here are several links for you to peruse:
- Tim Kawakami looks at several bidders besides Larry Ellison
- ESPN’s Marc Stein has the national take
- SI’s Frank Hughes brings up Jerry West as a GM candidate
- SF Business Times article
The Golden State Warriors surprised everyone today by announcing that they have hired Galatioto Sports Partners to help facilitate a future sale. GSP is no stranger to the business, as they just finished the sale of the Charlotte Bobcats to Michael Jordan. They also have some serious league experience onboard in former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik.
Beleaguered owner Chris Cohan may be looking for upwards of $400 million for the team, even though Forbes pegged the W’s value going into this season at $315 million. Assuming Forbes is correct, that’s at least a 27% premium, which could make some prospective buyers balk. Larry Ellison is obviously the most prominent suitor, but there’s no shortage of moneyed interests from all over the Bay Area that could take a shot.
Beyond the sale, which will probably take at least a year to consummate, there is the issue of where the W’s will play after their lease (and Oracle’s naming rights deal) ends after the 2016-17 season. While Oracle Arena is unquestionably a superior basketball venue compared to HP Pavilion, it remains to be seen if that will be satisfactory to whomever buys the team. If Ellison buys the team, it would stand to reason that he’d take the Oracle brand and use it as a cornerstone for a new arena deal, perhaps in San Francisco. Kawakami muses on this further:
According to my sources, almost all of the major parties interested in the Warriors are looking to possibly move the team to San Francisco, in a newly built (privately financed) arena in Giants’ parking lot adjacent to AT&T Park.
That includes Ellison, I’m told, though I believe he’d want to own the Warriors wherever they play–his company’s name, after all, is on the current arena.
With a bigger sponsorship base and a new luxury downtown arena, the Warriors would almost certainly have a higher revenue stream if they were located in San Francisco.
I’ve heard that the Giants could be involved in several of these forming groups, either as a background partner (remember, they’re also minority owners of Comcast Bay Area) or larger player in the purchase.
Right now, AT&T Park is used about 100 dates a year, for Giants games and concerts, etc. If there’s an arena built next door, that’s possibly another 100 dates for that area, and you can easily imagine more retail and other use of that corridor.
It’s not out of the question, though it’s a given that a new arena would have to be privately financed. In any event, W’s fans have to be happy that the one thing they’ve wanted the last decade – Cohan selling their team – is one step closer to happening.