SF officially pursuing Warriors + LA Live observations

According to Matier & Ross, the City of San Francisco has sent a letter to the Warriors urging the team to work with the city on a new arena deal in SF. A month ago it was revealed that W’s ownership was looking at Piers 30 & 32, which were removed from the America’s Cup waterfront development plan due to cost. Nothing has changed to indicate the site isn’t the frontrunner, though the team could still work out a deal with the Giants in the China Basin/Mission Rock area as a backup plan.

There are height restrictions that will come into play, just as they did with AT&T Park. Given the City’s political will that pushed through the America’s Cup EIR, I have to think the stars would similarly align for the Warriors’ arena efforts.

It’ll be interesting to see if this motivates Oakland to ramp up its Coliseum City efforts. Given the number of events the arena holds annually (150-200), I suspect that keeping the Warriors is practically the linchpin in making Coliseum City work. With AEG in the picture, it’s possible that they may have a business plan to make the arena work without a team, probably by retooling the arena as the Bay Area’s premier large concert venue, like Sprint Center in Kansas City. Of course, making it “work without a team” is a subjective matter, as KC is paying through the nose in debt service while AEG is the one making money in the partnership.

LA Live was built out over several years, with Staples Center and the convention center as anchors

Between the Stadia EXPO and lunch at Philippe’s, I walked around downtown. I’ve never done that in LA, since for me the only reason to be there is an event at Staples Center. Oakland is trying to pattern Coliseum City as something similar to LA Live. That’s a tough one to duplicate, as I explained a few weeks ago. LA Live is a complex of numerous live venues, a multiplex, two luxury hotels, restaurants, all of it adjacent to Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. There’s always a lot of activity, even when it isn’t apparent.

Setting up for the "Battleship" red carpet premiere

As I was walking through the area, a crew was getting the rigging set up for the LA premiere of the action blockbuster “Battleship” (yes, inspired by the board game). It was 2:30 PM and people were already camping out, getting prime spots to view Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker as they walked the red carpet. Oakland got its brush with Hollywood fame when the Moneyball premiere was held at the Paramount last fall. It shouldn’t expect much more than that. Later this week Staples will hold six playoff games in five four days, including a doubleheader on Saturday. That’s not realistic for any arena in the Bay Area.

So what is realistic? If there are three major arenas in the Bay Area thanks to the Warriors crossing the bridge, the Oakland/Oracle Arena will suffer. There simply isn’t enough demand to fill all three venues regularly, and one will eventually turn into the “budget” arena to remain competitive. The best thing Oakland can do is everything possible to keep the Warriors in the Coliseum complex. I’m not sure what that will take, and I’m not certain that will be enough to overcome the cachet of San Francisco. For Oakland’s sake, I hope they put their best foot forward.

Update 6:43 PM – Oakland has responded with a statement reiterating their commitment to the Warriors. Curiously, it’s the first real indicator that Oakland is pushing for a new arena to replace Oracle Arena, something that has not shown up in public documents to date. Oakland’s advantage versus SF is that they shouldn’t require a brand new arena. What incentive is there for the W’s to build in Oakland if they have to pay for it?

54 thoughts on “SF officially pursuing Warriors + LA Live observations

  1. Seems like Oracle is destined to become the next Cow Palace.

  2. Will Jean Quan have another press conference soon?! :X

  3. Warriors Arena at 980 Park.

  4. How can Oakland compete with a waterfront arena in downtown Frisco, especially since Oakland can’t pay for a new building?

  5. I’m just waiting for San Francisco to collectively yell out “Whose your daddy!” to oakland at this point.
    Easier said than done, but God, hopefully Oakland will do something to stop the city from eating their lunch.

  6. The reason LA Live is successful (although still pretty lame) is because of the many events (sporting, performance, convention) , hotels, business and residents within walking or a short driving distance. It doesn’t hurt that USC and 30,000+ students are a few miles down the road. Replicating this model at the Coliseum, which is not near any densely populated area, job center or tourism hub is unreasonable on multiple levels. To make it work, they will basically need to create a second downtown.

  7. This is bad news for SJ as well. A brand spanking new waterfront arena is San Francisco would KILL the concert revenues of the 15+ year old HP Pavilion.

  8. re: This is bad news for SJ as well. A brand spanking new waterfront arena is San Francisco would KILL the concert revenues of the 15+ year old HP Pavilion.
    …Um, SJ’s arena is about 45 miles from the Frisco arena and is surrounded by more than 1 million people living within a few miles of it. San Jose’s arena will continue to do just fine. But all of Oakland’s major concert business and, presumably, the Warriors, would move over to Frisco. I suppose Oakland would still get the circus and a few events like that. Maybe an ice show or two… While MLB’s official policy lumps San Jose and Frisco into the same “territory” like it’s still 1940, concert/show promoters know there’s Big $$ to be made in San Jose, separate from Frisco.

  9. HP Pavilion would still be booked, but if a really big act (Springsteen, Beyonce, Jay-Z, etc) decides to play only one show in the Bay Area, SF will get the nod the majority of the time. I imagine it would be the center stage for Super Bowl activities when the 49ers end up hosting, as well. Boy, when it comes to grabbing up sports teams, these cities don’t mind stepping on toes, do they?

  10. @eb – It’s unlikely that the prospective arena would be built in time for the 49ers/SF’s joint hosting of the Super Bowl (2015-16). Maybe the stadium would end up in the regular rotation, I’m not so sure about that.

  11. @ML You’re right, I don’t know why but I still envision a Bay Area Super Bowl as a long ways away. Still, if a Super Bowl does happen with a SF arena having been built, I’d imagine it would be option number one by the NFL. Why don’t you think the Bay Area would fall into the Super Bowl rotation?

  12. @eb – If it rains, forget about another Super Bowl. The logistics could be poor, as they were in Jacksonville and Dallas. The NFL would rather continue with domes or proven markets like Miami and Tampa. Besides, the reward for building a stadium is supposed to be one Super Bowl. There’s no guarantee of repeats.

  13. In the case of the A’s, I would hardly constitute San Jose’s efforts as “stepping on toes.” Seventeen years and no agrees upon site, good luck to any business working under those parameters. But if the Warriors leave Oakland, that would suck immensely. I think that’s the true slap in the face, since the Warriors basically got a new arena. A’s got nothing of the sort to this day.

  14. That’s all the NFL needs is for the Super Bowl to be held in the Bay Area during one of our mid-winter, mudslide-inducing wind-and-rainstorms.

  15. re: I think that’s the true slap in the face, since the Warriors basically got a new arena. A’s got nothing of the sort to this day.
    …the Warriors got whatever they wanted from Oakland in the late-’90s. The A’s? Not so much.

  16. its humourous to see that Quan is “partnering” with the gints to keep the A’s from SJ while the whole time the gints were plotting to take the W’s from Oakland…I recognize that the gints are now a fallback position but come on—is she really clueless or what!

    What I like about SF trying to get the W’s—puts pressure on the Sharks to think about next generation of the Tank—which I assume would be in the parking lot of the existing facility–unless you can retrofit the current structure—need to drop the upper boxes down and do 2 tiers of boxes above the lower seats—don’t get me wrong–Tank has many great years in front of it–but considering that it takes 10 years to get one of these things to fly there is no time like the present to begin to prepare for it…

  17. You mean stack the luxury boxes like they do in Staples Center? Yuck. I think the Sharks would need a whole new arena and I don’t believe anyone is even talking about that in San Jose. And isn’t the parking lot slated to be developed as offices or parking garages as part of some master plan?

  18. luxury boxes up at the highest level in the venue is not nearly as lucrative as those in the mid-tier–not only for hockey games but for concerts etc—-I have no idea on the master plan for the parking lots–but we all know these facilities don’t last forever so better have a site in mind and lock it up then be like Oakland fumbling around for a site for the past 17 years–

  19. It usually doesn’t rain in the Bay Area, let alone the South Bay in early Februrary. Don’t worry about that fellas. Super Bowls will come every 5-6 years in the Bay Area once the Niners stadium is built or if Coliseum City is built.

  20. Crunch time for Oakland politicos now. SF is going hard after the Warriors and now Oakland needs to step it the hell up before they lose ALL 3 sports teams.

  21. Update 6:43 PM – Oakland has responded with a statement reiterating their commitment to the Warriors. Curiously, it’s the first real indicator that Oakland is pushing for a new arena to replace Oracle Arena, something that has not shown up in public documents to date. Oakland’s advantage versus SF is that they shouldn’t require a brand new arena. What incentive is there for the W’s to build in Oakland if they have to pay for it?

  22. from the end of the article, ML linked above:

    “The Warriors’ present home was renovated at taxpayers’ expense in the mid-90s to include more revenue generating luxury suites and club seating. However, over the past 15 years, new arenas have been built with new amenities and designs that further enable teams to maximize revenues, assistant city administrator Fred Blackwell said. The Warriors lease stipulates that it would have to pay much of the outstanding bond debt — currently estimated at $95 million — if the team vacates the arena before 2027 and arena revenues prove insufficient to pay off the debt.”
    We shall see how deep Lacob and Gruber’s pockets are!

  23. @David – The debt would have to be paid off by the Warriors or Oakland/Alameda County if a new arena is built at the Coliseum as well, since there isn’t a need (or room) for two arenas at the Coliseum. So again, what advantage is there to building in Oakland?

  24. all the advantages I see in Oakland for the Warriors, are the same one’s i see for the A’s. I doubt we’ll agree on that.
    And count me in the group that thinks that Oracle is more than suitable to watch a game (or rock concert), as is.

  25. @David – Those must be the advantages that convinced Franklin Mieuli, Dan Finnane, and Chris Cohan to keep the team name “Golden State Warriors” all these years.

  26. As long as Oakland’s plans to keep its three teams involve only PR campaigns and no cash, then it’s academic that the city will have a tough time keeping any of the teams…

  27. Dino, I doubt it’ll have much impact on the SJ Arena (which is one of the most booked arenas in the country). Most shows that go to SF go to SJ as well. Unlike MLB, most other businesses recognize that San Jose and San Francisco while part of the greater bay area are also separate markets with more than enough money and interested parties to support the same events in both cities.

  28. Ditto what Dan said. Right now, most arena-sized shows play both HP Pavilion and Oracle Arena. If the W’s build a new arena in SF, they’ll play HP Pavilion and new SF Arena.
    Anyway, the Sharks account for a lot more dates than concerts.

  29. HP Pavilion won’t be affected by a SF arena- it is easy to draw a parallel between here and SoCal- acts like say, the Black Keys for example, have both Honda Center and Staples booked for one night each- and OC and downtown LA are a lot closer than SF/SJ.

  30. Don’t really know what Ratto is getting at. Sac and SF are two very different cities with two very different requirements for getting a team and in Sac’s case keeping a team (requirements that KJ and Sac lived up to). And more importantly, the owners are VERY different. In Sac’s case the owners don’t have any money and had no interest in staying in Sac. They’ve had their bags packed fr a trip to Anaheim that may never come. In SF’s case the Warriors want to be in San Francisco and would be willing to provide funds to that end.

  31. The Media is an amazing and powerful tool. They hold in their hand the power to set the agenda for what is discussed. And what an advantage it is to have the media view you as favorable and/or favor your cause. That is the only reason I can think of that explains why stories are not being printed about JQ/Oakland and SF/Giants. They were a quasi media team combating the A’s move to SJ effort. Yet while that quasi team was being that quasi team, one side of the team was knifing the other in the back – trying to lure away the current crowned jewel of Oakland Sports How is this not a story? What does it take? The Giants execs sleeping with the wives of the Oakland Pols to get this back stab story written? The W’s are much more important to Oakland than the A’s. Arguably, considering how well the W’s have been supported, Oakland could do a public project with a new W’s arena at the center of it. Yet this gets no play and ‘outrage’ from the Oakland-centric crowd…..but LW is a pariah for only giving Oakland 10 years to get a stadium plan together. It really underscores how illogical and/or dishonest the anti LW/A’s/SJ campaign has been.
    And to the point of the media — as another example — the comments previously by BS were reprinted by Purdy in the Merc. What he said really drives home this point (and it is a big news concerning the Giants-A’s battle). BS indirectly called out the Giants as selfish and uninterested in the health of MLB. Yet the pillars of journalistic excellence such as Monte Pool (among many others) simply ignore it and/or regurgitate less than truthful stories that support their views? Frustrating and disheartening from a perspective beyond just this issue…

  32. Irvine and Anaheim are not closer to DTLA than SJ. That’s usually an hour or more on 5 or 57.

  33. When is Oakland going to get around to understanding that the pro sports franchises don’t care about what’s in it for Oakland?

  34. Oakland has had nearly 50 years of time to plan and build up the infrastructure around 66th off of 880 in their effort to have the entertainment mecca of Northern California. Of all the times to start working towards that, why now? Oakland really has the opportunity to be a west coast Brooklyn, but they need to attract the Gen X’ers and Millennials who’ve reached their home-buying age. Oakland is a prime location for that if the city can get its act together. If they can build up a community of younger families now, Oakland could benefit now and for the next couple decades.

  35. Found this interesting:

    Anschutz Entertainment Group is still in the lead to win the O.co Coliseum management contract after a second round of voting by the Joint Powers Authority that governs the complex.

    During a special meeting held Monday morning, the eight-member board again voted to allow sports consultant Barrett Sports Group to negotiate a contract on behalf of the Coliseum authority with AEG.

    If Barrett Sports and AEG do succeed in negotiating a contract that the Coliseum authority approves, AEG will sign a no-poaching clause that would prevent it from trying to relocate the Raiders to Los Angeles, where the company is building an NFL stadium. The contract provision could not keep the Raiders from leaving Oakland, McClain said, but it would prevent AEG from taking them to Los Angeles.

  36. The Super Bowl will rotate to Santa Clara every 4-5 years as the NFL has been dying to have a California location for several years. The NFL hates cold weather locations hence why they return to New Orleans and Miami so much because at least you can be outside for the gala during the week and not freeze your ass off….Despite Miami and New Orleans having very old stadiums. Domes are relative to the issue of the weather outside.

    LA was not a proven market NFL wise but they returned to the Rose Bowl several times because of the warm weather and outdoor conditions being ideal. Even San Diego had the Super Bowl a few times because of its weather despite a bad stadium. Santa Clara will now be the California spot during the NFL’s rotation on the West Coast.

    Logistics will not be an issue here as the NFL values a California location that much for a Super Bowl, far more than Dallas or Jacksonville. Also, it rained in Miami in Super Bowl 44, and last I checked Miami is still bidding on the game year in and year out.

  37. @Brian: Notice how the cover has a picture of pre-Mt. Davis Coliseum? Sad.

  38. I’m at work, so I watched the Super Dave video on mute and the whole thing came off really sexual. Is something wrong with me? Probz.


    Getting back to Mt. Davis– ya know, I think I’d be ok with the thing if there was a giant bar build into the center field suites. You can’t get past football expansions being ugly, but you can at least make them useful.

  39. You’d think they could at least open the giant bar that is already there and barricaded off.

  40. Sid, We’ll be lucky to get the Super Bowl more than once. San Diego was promised they’d be in the rotation if they renovated Qualcomm Stadium in 1997 with public fund, which they did. They’re still waiting for Super Bowl No. 2.

  41. SD did get two after the renovation (’98 and ’03), the second of which had Tagliabue saying that they’d never get another without a new stadium.


  43. Just because your Caps Lock key is stuck, doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

  44. re: Howard terminal
    All they need is about $1.5 billion to acquire the A’s and build the arena and ballpark, not counting property acquisitions. Howard Terminal has huge trains going by and a sewer line under it that can’t be moved. Who pays to remedy these site issues, which will be enormously expensive if they can even be fixed at all, when there is a grand total of $0.00 in public money for this project? Knauss’s ballpark experience was in Houston, where they had a pile of public funds. No such animal here.

  45. LOL @ ACV .. Lol oh lord

  46. Best part of the Super Dave video: Billy is supposedly leading Super Dave to his office via the dugout, but he actually takes him into the dugout’s bathroom before the cut-away.

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