Sharks to become two-headed with top affiliate move to San Jose

For a casual hockey observer, this seems out of the blue: Mark Purdy is reporting tonight that the San Jose Sharks will move its top affiliate, the Worcester Sharks (MA), to San Jose starting with next season. The Worcester Sharks are in the American Hockey League, the hockey equivalent of AAA baseball. TSN hockey reporter Darren Dreger reported last month that the move is part of a five-team shift to establish a true division of West Coast teams. The AHL had operated strictly under a Western/Eastern conference alignment this year, when divisions were introduced.

The problem with the new alignment is that even in the Western Conference, the team furthest west was in San Antonio, with no teams in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. By re-establishing five existing teams on the West Coast, those teams will be able to support each other with less travel distance between them. In conjunction with the new two-headed Sharks in San Jose, Calgary will move its AHL affiliate to Stockton, displacing the ECHL Thunder. According to Dreger, the other teams expected to jump on the bandwagon are the Kings, Ducks, and Oilers. Strangely, that leaves the Canucks without a West Coast AHL mate, their current AHL city being Utica (!), NY, pending a future move or new affiliation. The Pacific Northwest is already well represented in terms of minor league hockey thanks to several junior teams (WHL) in place for years or even decades.

So far the Sharks are the only franchise to agree to house its minor league and big clubs under the same roof. Purdy thinks it’ll be a short-term move, the to-be-renamed minor league team farmed out to Oakland after the Warriors leave, Sacramento when the new arena is completed, or elsewhere in a few years. Next fall will be an interesting experiment in observing how much hockey San Jose and the Bay Area can tolerate. The Bulls and Spiders both failed at the Cow Palace, but that was largely due to the Cow Palace’s age and location. There is a real risk of oversaturation, especially if the Sharks don’t improve from their uninspiring (but playoff-bound) state. The counter to that argument is that the real hardcore Sharks fans will have an opportunity to really indulge their ice jones, by being able to watch the big show and players on the cusp of the NHL. The AHL has a 76-game schedule, so if you halve that you get a total of 79 regular season home games between the Sharks and mini-Sharks, plus preseason and potential playoff games. That’s almost as many as a baseball home schedule.

View from my 10-game SharkPak seats during the 2013-14 season

View from my upper level 10-game SharkPak seats during the 2013-14 season

Pricing is the perhaps most curious conundrum. The Sharks want to price AHL games affordably, to attract families and casual fans, yet they don’t want to undercut their premium NHL product too much. Currently, season tickets for the Worcester Sharks at 80’s vintage DCU Center run from $12 to $20 per game depending on the package, an absolute bargain compared to the Sharks or any other NHL team for that matter. They have a number of all-season promotions, including $79 family four-packs including concessions and $2 popcorn, hot dogs, and sodas on Fridays. A family four-pack in San Jose costs $120-360 depending on where you sit.

Naturally, operating costs at SAP Center are going to be a little higher than in Worcester, so we may not see prices quite so low for AHL games. The organization can choose to run a smaller operation by curtaining off the upper level, limiting the capacity to around 10,000 seats. I figure if they can pull in 5,000 a game, they should be able to break even if most tickets are around half the price of their counterparts at a NHL Sharks game. Many of the concerts, ice shows, and other paid events the AHL games would displace are meant for crowds of 10,000 or less, with numerous sections “backstage.” Unless mini-Sharks attendance is extremely poor, the organization shouldn’t lose money.

I overlaid the Worcester Sharks home schedule on top of the SAP Center’s event schedule and found 19 date conflicts. A handful involved touring shows like Disney on Ice or Marvel Universe, dates for which games could be easily rescheduled. Only 7 were SJ Sharks home games. Again, most of those could be rescheduled by either swapping dates with the visiting team or changing dates. For some weekend games day-night doubleheader situations might be appropriate. It would allow the arena to stay in rink configuration for two events over a full day. Downtown San Jose businesses would love that. Worcester and other AHL teams also have the unusual practice of scheduling the same opponent for back-to-back home games on consecutive nights. That may not be doable given the number of events at SAP Center.

Purdy alluded to new dressing rooms being built at the arena. I figure that the cluster of smaller auxiliary dressing rooms will be modified for that purpose. Another dressing room would have to be built at Sharks Ice as well. A very fan-friendly move would be if the mini-Sharks offered more open practice sessions.

Finally, the team name will not be San Jose Sharks, or Sharks 2.0. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team dumped the Sharks moniker for the team and even went with the “Silicon Valley” locator. The name would resonate with sponsors, most of whom are Valley tech companies who already have their names on the ice and boards. Maybe it’ll be something that Purdy himself has used frequently, the Tiburones. Silicon Valley Tiburones. There are no sharks in a valley, you’ll say. Hey, I’m no marketing genius and it’s only a minor league team. They can afford to experiment.

P.S. – Names I would not like: San Jose Chips, Silicon Valley Brogrammers, San Jose Apps.

106 thoughts on “Sharks to become two-headed with top affiliate move to San Jose

  1. Philly made it work for a while, with the Phantoms playing a few hundred feet away from the Flyers while the Spectrum was still around. But color me skeptical on this as a long term solution.

  2. With that many open dates in San Jose, that tales us all we need to know about the arena in Oakland, once the Warriors open their arena in San Francisco. I think the Sharks minor league team in Oakland, once the Warriors do leave is a good idea.

    • Personally I’d like to see Oracle’s capacity reduced after the Warriors leave in an effort to try to make it a medium sized arena venue (and fill that niche for events) rather than a full sized professional one. Then, move the Baby Sharks there and call them the Seals/Golden Seals.

      I’m not taking into consideration any financial, logistical, or other concerns there. That’s just me toying with hypotheticals.

      • I think that’s good idea 17,000 may even be a bit much, it also would allow the Sharks to strengthen their Bay Area market.

      • I was thinking like 10-12k for concerts, so ~7500 for hockey. Again, that’s just me spitballing.

  3. I’d be all over an AHL/NHL double header: Baby Sharks game in the afternoon/early evening and NHL Sharks game that night. I think it’d be interesting for them to take the Seals/Golden Seals name to pay homage to the Bay Area’s original WHL/NHL team. However, I’m assuming the Dallas Stars own the rights to the name (that’s just a guess on my part) since the Golden Seals moved to Cleveland to become the Barons, then merged with the Minnesota North Stars, who in turn became the Dallas Stars.

  4. Looks like the Sharks lost a game of musical chairs in this AHL West shift, after Calgary grabbed Stockton, leaving no other suitable or attractive minor league markets in California. They’ll act like they planned it this way all along, but I don’t think so.

    • Seems that way, which means that Bakersfield and Ontario should also end up swapping ECHL teams for AHL.

    • Isn’t Sacramento a pretty desirable AHL location- 1 year in the tank and then they move to Sacramento and share the arena with the Kings- seems like a pretty solid strategy to me-

      • That’s what I was thinking. Sac would have made a lot of sense and would have been both Bay Area adjacent but also a great way to set up rivalries with the other Central Valley population centers who are also getting teams in Bakersfield and Stockton. Fresno also could have worked if they’d wanted. Putting the team in San Jose only makes sense if they have a long term goal to put it elsewhere in the Bay Area like Oracle (after it’s converted to hold ice again) or possibly the new SF arena (which also won’t be NHL ready but could work for minor league hockey). No matter what they do however, the AHL is going to have a nice little west coast/California division with the teams in SJ, Stockton, Bakersfield, Ontario and San Diego. I will definitely be buying season tickets to the last team on that list in SD. Hopefully the Gulls make their 3rd triumphant return.

      • I don’t think bringing them to SJ necessarily indicates a desire to keep them in the Bay Area long term, especially with regards to Sacramento. I could see them playing in SJ until the New Sacramento Arena is finished, then moving up there. Fresno could still be in play too. That’s all just speculation of course.

      • If they play in Fresno they better be called the Falcons, dammit!

      • I grew up watching the Fresno Falcons. I would agree with Jeffrey. I would love for the ECHL to bring a team back or the AHL to bring one in. Yes whe have the Fresno Monsters who play at Gateway Ice Center and are in the Western States Hockey League. i have been to a few games and i can say it then the same.

  5. This is why back when the Warriors new arena was announced I said that they should design it to properly fit a hockey rink. People said that I was being silly, but here you go. There now is the possibility of an AHL tenant to give them more income. And yes, sure they could go to Oakland or Sacramento instead. But, you can’t deny that playing in SF proper would be much better image-wise.

    • A basketball arena could host an AHL team no problem. Hosting a NHL team needing 17k seats – now that’s a problem.

      • Sure it could host one, no problem… as long as terrible sight lines because the rink isn’t centered isn’t a problem. Quite a few of the NBA only arenas (Barclays Center, America West Arena, Key Arena, Sleep Train Arena, etc) only retract on one end, making it impossible to have the ice centered.

      • It’s fine though for an AHL team because they will just close off the areas with the bad seats. 10K seats is big for an AHL team.

        The Sharks played a few regular season games at Sleep Train in the mid 90’s. The upper deck behind the goals were terrible. Most of the reset of the upper deck and the lower bowl were not great but good enough. That’s more than enough capacity for an AHL team.

  6. When I first heard this story, I thought it was a joke from “The Onion.” Minor league hockey in the Bay Area has not been successful in the past 20 years: Frisco Bulls, Frisco Spiders, San Jose Rhinos (roller hockey) all failed. I’ll bet the Worcester Sharks eventually end up at the Frisco Arena (where they will fail like the other ventures I just mentioned.) Tough break for the fans in Worcester

    • You can’t even compare playing in a new arena in SF to playing in the Cow Palace. The dynamic is totally different.

      • But will the people of Frisco come out to see minor league hockey? They haven’t in the recent past. A chance to look at the new arena might sell a few tickets for a bit but that’s about it.

      • Yeah, but it’s triple a hockey. I would think the team will eventually be in Oakland or Sacramento (probably more likely in Sacramento). Hell, maybe this was one of the six teams Jean Quan talked about being in the mix for Coliseum City.

      • It’s a good experiment for what will happen in 2018, when SJ loses many premier concerts to SF. Might as well see if you can successfully substitute. Oakland’s arena could be good for minor league hockey, but it will not be sustainable if minor league hockey is the only permanent tenant unless someone pays off all the outstanding arena debt.

      • I agree that they are probably better off outside of SF long term. I’m saying that just between the Cow Palace and a new SF arena, they’d have a better shot at success in the new arena. Reduced capacity Oracle is where it’s at, like I talked about above.

      • The concert dynamic between competing arenas (SF/SJ) will be interesting. It wouldn’t surprise me if big shows played both, but that’s just me guessing.

      • Why wouldn’t they play both? Big shows currently play both Oracle and SAP Center. I’m fairly sure Oracle’s days are numbered once the new Warriors arena is completed; they’ll need the land for whatever gets developed at the Coli site. Plus, Oracle would be in much more direct competition with the new SF Arena than SAP Center due to geography, and I think SF Arena wins that battle.

      • The Bay Area is not guaranteed 2 dates on every arena tour. Many tours will only do one date here, two if it can schedule the two arenas on consecutive nights. Ariana Grande’s and Eric Church’s current tours have only one Bay Area date in San Jose. Same with the NKOTB tour. Taylor Swift is doing two nights – at Levi’s instead of three at an arena. Fleetwood Mac has one date in Oakland. SJ is free for a potential additional Bay Area date, but it hasn’t been scheduled. Bruno Mars had an unusual tour last year that did Oakland in the spring and then swung back to hit San Jose at the end of summer. Then there’s competition from the summer amphitheaters. The potential for conflicts will not work to SJ’s advantage. Many tour operators will look at a packed schedule and look for an alternative. I can’t imagine that Live Nation is happy about what the Sharks are doing.

      • The Spiders actually didn’t do that poorly. They drew on the weekends it was the mid-week games where no one went. The Cow Palace’s location probably hurt them here as getting there is pretty terrible during the week.

        In terms of the Bulls, the ECHL is a pretty big step down from the AHL. Other than random backup goalies who end up making it, no prospects come out of the ECHL. The quality of play is bad so I’m not sure the Bulls are a fair comparison either.

      • ML, do you really think SJ is going to lose many concerts to SF? Seems to me that the split is fairly even right now between Oakland and SJ. No reason it won’t continue to be when SF opens. If anyone stands to lose most if not all their shows it stands to reason it’ll be the arena right across the water from SF, not the one 50 miles south in a larger city.

      • Both are going to lose out. Oakland and SJ are sort-of comparable (similar in age given Oakland’s renovation and similar in that most Bay Areans would rather go to events in SF), so there’s no clear winner in a competition between the two. SF would dominate either, so the market is going to be shaken up.

        Hopefully this can aid in the death of the shed amphitheaters, what pieces of crap those (especially Shoreline) are.

      • Why would most Bay Areans want the hassle of going to San Francisco to watch a basketball game? This

        Arena will not be that close to the downtown action or the hotels. I would rather got to Oracle or San Jose (once I got there) than fight the congestion and the over priced parking in San Francisco.

        Will people really enjoy going to and coming out of San Francisco after a basketball game? Besides, Oakland is the cultural hub of the Bay Area right now. Only people 50 years and older still think San Francisco is cool. SF lost its mojo and its artists and Oakland found them.

  7. New SF Arena will have a definite leg up on SAP Center when it opens re concerts. That’s when a completely upgraded SAP Center (ala MSG NYC) or a NEW arena will have to enter the discussion in SJ. Got’s to keep up with the Jones’ you know…

  8. That would be very shortsighted of the Sharks to keep the AHL team in San Jose. Sacramento’s new downtown arena is being built right now and will be ready in 2016. They just created Northern California patches for their stadium jerseys. All the Shark games on Comcast Sportsnet California are broadcasted in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto market.

  9. A minor league hockey team will not work in Oakland. A town with 3 major sports franchises isn’t all of a sudden going to go for minor league hockey.

    Also, I would keep Oracle Arena’s capacity at 19,000+ as a way to compete on price and accessibility with the new San Francisco arena.

    Oracle arena was completely renovated in1997 so the arena is only 17 years old. It’s still a beautiful arena with nothing wrong with it. It would be a shame to do anything to Oracle. The arena is way to good and still state-of-the-art for a Sharks minor league affiliate.

    • Soon to be 1 major sports franchise. Minor league hockey would work just fine in a town of 400,000.. (just because you wouldn’t want AHL doesn’t mean no one else will)

    • So then your other option is to have ZERO permanent tenants. How exactly is that preferable from any objective standpoint? And btw, it was already home to minor league hockey before.

    • If Oracle Arena has no major league sports tenants, it becomes the Bay Area equivalent of the LA Sports Arena, Izod Center, etc. The third or fourth arena in the market that gets the scraps.Having open weekend dates can make for some tasty scraps at times, but enough to sustain it long-term?

      Does Oracle still have permanent ice-rink-making facilities? (I worked in an arena that didn’t, so the ice shows brought their own.)

    • Plus there’s no guarantees Oracle Arena will even be around in a few years. Since it’s easier for the Sharks to work out the short term logistics with the AHL team at the SJ Arena, they probably don’t want to mess with trying to set something up in Oakland unless they have an idea of what will happen long term.

    • Oakland is not going to have 3 major league sports franchises very much longer. Best case is 2, more likely it will be somewhere between 0 and 1.

      Further, you’re the one who keeps saying the Coliseum site has plenty of room for the ancillary development needed to Finance both a $1 billion football stadium and and $500 million baseball stadium. Though that’s ridiculous to begin with, it’s even more absurd if one assumes Oracle Arena remains on the site. That land would be needed to finance any sports venue development. Oracle will be a certain casualty if both the A’s and Raiders someone manage to stay on the site and probably also if only one of them does.

      Though Oracle is still adequate, it’s far from state of the art, which is one of the reasons the Warriors are building a new arena. The Bay Area does not need three arenas and without a major anchor tenant Oracle will clearly be odd man out.

      • No, the Warriors are leaving becuase they think that their franchise will be more valuable I with a new arena in San Francisco. There’s nothing wrong with Oracle arena. The place has luxury suites, a brand new video screen above center court, electronic banner message board around the entire building, a new luxury club area, over 19,000 seats and its own BART station. The place is only 17 years old after the renovation was complete in 1997.

        You can easily make the case that Oracle is a superior arena to SAP Center in San Jose where the Sharks are thinking of sharing ice time with their minor league affiliate.

      • The Warriors think a new arena in SF will make them more valuable because it factually will. That’s a completely non-controversial conclusion for them to draw because it’s a cold, hard fact.

      • The only reason you think Oracle is superior to SAP is because it’s in Oakland.

  10. I wonder how much SVSE’s (or whatever it’s now called) level of control of the Sharks and the SJ Arena plays into this. While on the books the AHL team will be paying rent, some of the money will likely just be moving from one pocket to the other. Overall the SJ Arena might be the most cost effective option for the Sharks.

  11. It should be noted that the New York Islanders will be moving from suburban Long Island to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, starting next season. Its seating capacity for hockey is only about 15,500, which in effect will make Barclays Center the smallest hockey viewing arena in the NHL.
    The arena’s original plans called to have the NBA Nets as its only primary major sport tenant. With that fact in mind, and the need to reduce construction costs, Barclays was subsequently re-designed to be somewhat less accommodating in meeting NHL seating capacity standards. Despite this obvious shortcoming, the NHL New York Islanders decided it was still worth the teams’ while to move forty miles to a brand new state-of-the-art facility in an ideal booming downtown Brooklyn setting, and most importantly in New York, fully accessible to major public transit. The Islanders had enough with playing at the antiquated terribly rundown Nassau Coliseum, and were frustrated with their long-term inability to get Long Island’s elected officials for help in getting public funding for a new arena. Sound familiar? Finally, to compensate for Barclay Centers’ less than desirable seating capacity for hockey, Islander fans will be paying much more for their tickets. However, In this day and age, that’s usually the price whenever fans of any team move into a new ballpark, stadium, or arena.

  12. It’s interesting because the arena in Oakland may not even be around, but if it’s demolished to make way for parking, housing, whatever, in a new development that would reduce the chances Oakland/Alameda County, or whoever could go after the Warriors for money they would seem to owe, on the bonds for the makeover of the building (1997 I think) once the finally go to San Francisco.
    It might be better for the Sharks minor league team to play in Sacramento, that would cover even more range and they would be playing in a new facility.

    • I think it would be a huge mistake to get rid of Oracle Arena. The place will still have the largest seating capacity of any arena in the Bay Area and it has its own BART stop.

      Also, if the Warriors pay off their 62 million on the bonds they owe for the 1997 renovation, Oakland will have a great asset which can undercut the competion. And, if Oakland will be choosing between the Raiders and A’s for available acreage at the Coliseum as many here believe, then what’s the purpose of tearing down or even reducing Oracle Arena.

      • Without an NHL or NBA tenant, it is questionable how viable Oracle Arena will be. With Frisco’s and San Jose’s arenas getting the big concert business, what’s left for Oracle? It might be better to bulldoze it and use the land for commercial or residential development to help pay for a new A’s ballpark. (A Sharks farm playing there, if that even happens, probably wouldn’t generate enough dollars to sustain Oracle arena)

      • @ Elmano
        Believe me, I’m a huge Oakland fan, and it would be nice if Oakland could keep the arena in its current form, but we have to wonder just how practical that will be, with the Warriors presumable building a new venue in San Francisco, and San Jose already having a very nice arena.
        I don’t even think L.A. has three headline large arenas (14,000-18,000) and they have nearly three times the population of the Bay Area. When you also consider the Kings new arena that’s going up in Sacramento and its impact on the northeastern portion of the Bay Area, its vary difficult to see how four arenas would be useful even for a place as large as the Bay Area. (including Sacramento metro)

  13. As was previously stated, Brooklyn is part of the island of Long Island, although most New Yorkers don’t usually equate that fact. Also, Brooklyn is part of the city of New York. As a result, no need to change the Islanders geographic or team name moniker. As for the Nets, once they moved to Brooklyn the team obviously could no longer retain their New Jersey geographic identity. However, the football Giants and Jets were able to retain their New York moniker since Northern New Jersey is considered part of the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

    • There’s no hard and fast rule about how a team chooses a city in the city name. The only one I even remember was the contract between Anaheim and the Angels which the Angels got around by adding “of Anaheim” at the end.

    • Lakeshore/Neil–

      LA has Staples Center, The Forum, LA Sports Arena, Honda Center, Pauley Pavilion, Long Beach Arena, Galen Center and Citizens Bank Arena (Ontario) as 10K+ arenas in the market. The first 4 are all 14k+.

      3 big arenas all thriving seems like a stretch for the Bay Area market, given the current state of the concert business, but we’ll see how it shakes out.

      • The shed market makes the concert market in the Bay Area/Sac even more jammed relative to population, as we have Shoreline, Concord, and Marysville. LA/Inland Empire has the Irvine Amp. (which I think is being torn down in the next few years), the San Bernardino one, and the Hollywood Bowl. There is also the Orange County Fairgrounds one but that is only used during the fair by agreement with the city, and the lawn is closed, making the capacity only 8,500.

        So four large arenas and three large sheds (not even counting the Cow Palace) for 9 million people here vs. four large arenas and what’s going to be two large sheds for 18 million people.

  14. Having the Sharks share their arena with their minor league affiliate is kind of insane. That’s way too much hockey in one arena and it will dilute the product and even hurt Sharks ticket sales. The hockey junky may just get his fix with half price tickets instead of saving up for a Sharks match. Makes no sense.

    Oakland would be a much better but Oracle Arena is too nice and too valuable to be tied up by a minor league hockey franchise.

    I think Oracle will due just fine undercutting the very expensive and congested San Francisco arena.

    • Because if Oakland just bides its time, another NBA or NHL team is sure to come calling and beg to be an anchor tenant. Displaying your usual firm grasp of reality…

      You do realize the area around the Coli is every bit as “congested,” “inaccessible” or whatever other term you want to use as either SF or Santa Clara, right?

      • The Coliseum Complex has its own BART station along with a freeway right next to it. That’s much better access than either Levi’s Stadium or the new Warrior arena at Mission Bay.

        Let’s face it, that arena will be expensive and hard to get to by BART and then a transfer to MUNI. Also not much parking in the area. The site is nothing spectacular. It’s nothing like what they originally proposed on the pier next to the Bay Bridge. As far as expense and hassle for basketball fans, I’d say we’re probably looking at Levi’s Stadium 2.0.

        It’s going to be a smaller Oracle Arena with inferior BART access and inferior parking. But hey, at least they can call themselves “San Francisco.”

      • The San Francisco Arena will have 41 closed dates because of the Warriors. This leaves Oracle available during those dates and for any other events it can undercut the Warrior Arena. Having the hockey team there may also hurt Oakland as far as attracting concerts or other events during those dates.

      • Levi’s stadium is enjoying absurd financial and scheduling success. You think your tired little jabs are insults, but they’re not. This is what happens when you denying facts.

      • SMG,

        Levi’s stadium has struggled with attendance for college football games. If the Niners begin to falter, they will have a huge problem.

        The Forty Niners needed a new stadium more than any team in sports, but the location and design were not well thought out.

      • And yet financial facts and transit options prove that you are, yet again, objectively wrong.

        What a shocking development

      • Let’s run down the ways your post above is factually wrong or intellectually dishonest:

        “The Coliseum Complex has its own BART station along with a freeway right next to it. That’s much better access than either Levi’s Stadium or the new Warrior arena at Mission Bay.”

        The Coliseum Complex sits next to a single freeway that is one of the most congested in the Bay Area. Levi’s Stadium and the new Warrior arena at Mission Bay are both sited near the convergence of three major freeways.

        Levi’s Stadium is served by three major transit systems (VTA Light Rail, Amtrak and ACE) and a fleet of express buses. The new Warrior arena will be directly served by CalTrain, Muni, and perhaps eventually high speed rail and the central subway.

        With respect to transit, only a tiny percentage of Warriors fans use BART to the Coli now. The Giant’s experience shows that the overall percentage of fans using transit to Warriors games will dramatically increase at Mission Bay, making it a much more transit friendly site than the Coli by any reasonable measure.

        “Let’s face it, that arena will be expensive and hard to get to by BART and then a transfer to MUNI.”

        Any new arena will be expensive, regardless of location. And the world does not revolve around BART. Your incessant advocacy for a Howard Terminal site that is also not directly served by BART is implicit recognition of the fact this is not terribly important.

        “Also not much parking in the area.”

        Hah! The Coli lot cannot currently accomodate a Raider game with tarps on Mt. Davis, yet in your fantasy world where it includes an additional venue and ancillary development it will somehow be a parking paradise.

        People were making the same wrongheaded predictions of inadequate parking for AT&T Park as well. The reality was, so much excess parking that they’re developing the lots. Many more people will ride transit to the new Warriors arena, and parking will be easy for those who don’t.

        “The site is nothing spectacular.”

        Unlike the Shangri-La of industrial East Oakland…

        Warriors arena at Mission Bay will be walking distance from some of SF’s most vibrant, dynamic neighborhoods, with plentiful restaurants, bars and other attractions nearby. I can’t wait.

        “As far as expense and hassle for basketball fans, I’d say we’re probably looking at Levi’s Stadium 2.0.”

        Notwithstanding some kinks associated with its opening (normal for any new venue of its size), Levi’s Stadium is one of the most accessible stadia in the NFL. With only 18,000 fans to accommodate, the Warriors arena will be even more hassle free.

        “It’s going to be a smaller Oracle Arena with inferior BART access and inferior parking.”

        Smaller is economically better in today’s NBA, that’s why they’re building it at the size they are. If bigger were better, they’d build it bigger.

      • “Levi’s stadium has struggled with attendance for college football games”

        Cal-Oregon drew over 55,000, a substantial increase over Cal’s 2014 average attendance of 47,000. Oregon-Arizona drew 45,000 in the rain, more than respectable numbers for two non-local teams in a sports saturated market. The Foster Farms bowl drew 34,000, almost exactly the same number it drew at AT&T Park in 2012 and 2013. Had these games been played in Oakland, you would have fallen all over yourself saying how great the numbers were.

    • I agree the Sharks should not book their farm team for their own home arena. What I suspect is happening is the Sharks see it as another way to squeeze revenues out of an operation that has seen all costs going up while ticket revenues are down and playoff revenues always come up far short of where they should be. Last year’s playoff debacle was devastating to the Sharks’ bottom line. Now, they’re even profiling season ticketholders on the big screen during games, trying to coax people to sign on. There was no need for that until recently. But I don’t know if their farm team would do any better in Oakland, which also has had major sports and may not want to step down to minor sports. Why not just hop on 880 and go see the Sharks for a few bucks more? See the real thing instead of a famr team…It remains to be seen if Oakland can squeeze enough concert, circus, ice show, dinosaur show dates to make its arena viable. I suspect that won’t happen once the Frisco arena opens.

      • I agree regarding the Sharks. I noticed not all their games are selling out. It’s the same as the A’s. When a team constantly fails to reach the next level, the fans start getting tired of shelling out the bucks.

        You’re right, the minor league team probably wouldn’t draw much better in Oakland, but due to the distance, would not hurt the Sharks gate nearly as much.

  15. Will “do” Man, is it me or the auto correct.

  16. Oracle Arena can, and should be, a huge thorn on the side of the San Francisco Warriors when they move to Mission Bay. Won’t the Warrior need at least 200 dates to pay off the massive debt they are about to incur?

    It’s a boneheaded idea especially considering the amazing success they are having in Oakland.

    • I don’t think Izod Center, or whatever the now-tentant-less Meadowlands Arena is called these days, is making anyone regret the building of the Prudential Center in Newark 15 minutes away. Prudential has the Devils, some college ball, etc. I don’t think there’s much going on at all at the Meadowlands arena. It would be likely the same fate for Oakland’s arena once the Frisco arena opens. (Has anyone asked Lacob where the championship parade would be if the team wins the title this year? Should be a fun question to ask him. Frisco or Oakland?)

      • Just read that “struggling” Izod Center is closing soon. That’s likely the fate that awaits Oracle’s arena once the Frisco arena opens

    • I’ll believe the insanely successful business people that own the team over your opinion when it comes to the financial situation of the Warriors.

      • I hope turning their backs on a perfectly fine arena where they’ve sold out over 100 consecutive games and have the most passionate fans in the NBA, works out for them. Also, one billion dollars in debt is not chump change.

        To me it’s a dumb move putting a successful team into so much debt and moving from a perfectly fine arena. That’s just me, but they’re rich so I’m sure they have more common $en$e than I do.

      • The arena wasn’t at attendance capacity for Warriors games for years, even after the remodel.

      • “I hope turning their backs on a perfectly fine arena where they’ve sold out over 100 consecutive games and have the most passionate fans in the NBA, works out for them.”

        No you don’t.

        “That’s just me, but they’re rich so I’m sure they have more common $en$e than I do.

        Yes, but to be fair the bar is very low.

  17. Even if oracle is paid off by warriors, they would have to book a lot of events just to keep up with operating expenses and maintenance. Not sure that’s possible when the only events may be ice shows, circus and a few concerts.
    Second, Elmano, the central subway will go close to the new SF arena. I would rather be able to go out to a nice restaurant or bar after the game, which you cant do in Oakland without driving or getting on Bart. Oh, and just think, all NBA teams that don’t stay in Oakland will be closer to the game in sf

    • Muni rail won’t just go close to the new arena, it’ll go right to the door.

      • @SMG. A fair point. BART is actually still a decent walk to Oracle Arena, which I assume is one reason so few Warrior fans ride it to the games.

      • Just for reference, I just measured it out and it is almost exactly 1/2 mile between the BART platform and Oracle doors.

      • I would consider anything up to a mile easily walkable, but a lot of Americans feel differently. I see a lot more people taking BART to A’s games with 12,000 attendance than Warriors games with 19,000 attendance, which I attribute mostly to the relative distance.

        In any event, my main point is that “right outside the door” MUNI access plus nearby CalTrain access is at least as good as the current BART access at Oracle and will see higher transit ridership.

      • Not to mention I’m sure they’ll try to get a ferry dock right near the arena.

      • The 12th Street BART is less than 3/4 of a mile from Howard Terminal and no one here ever said that was great BART access when talking about that site.

        Also, you forgot that the Coliseum also has access to 580 via Hegenberger/73rd/Edwards parkway. So it’s not just one freeway and the BART station.

      • “The 12th Street BART is less than 3/4 of a mile from Howard Terminal”

        According to Google Maps it is 1.1 miles walking from Howard Terminal, and that’s measuring only to the foot of Market Street (the site where a theoretical ballpark would be built is even further away). Showing your usual contempt for, y’know, actual facts.

        “… and no one here ever said that was great BART access when talking about that site.”

        The point is your complete hypocrisy. When you talk about the new Warriors Arena at Mission Bay or Levi’s Stadium, you use terms like “inaccessible” based entirely on the lack of direct access to BART (and ignore the fact that overall those are both more transit friendly and accessible sites than the current Coli site). Yet when you go on and on about the wonderful Howard Terminal site, lack of BART access magically goes away as an issue. H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E.

        “Also, you forgot that the Coliseum also has access to 580 via Hegenberger/73rd/Edwards parkway. So it’s not just one freeway and the BART station.”

        580 is nearly four miles away from the Coli. 101 is about 1.5 miles and 237 two miles from Levis Stadium. 80, 280 and 101 are all within about a mile of the Warriors Mission Bay site (280 is practically right next to it). The point is, those two sites both have far better freeway/transit access than the Coli and are therefore more “accessible.”

  18. Bartleby,

    That seems like nice access for people coming in from the Peninsula and the people from “San Francisco’s dynamic neighborhoods.” I hope you’re including the people in Bayview just up Third Street along with the fans coming from Portrero Hill. You think these neighbors will be able to afford a ticket to the a Warrior game along with the dinner afterward?

    Why is it, that everything about an “ideal” location for an arena has to do with “going out to dinner after the game.” That must be one wealthy fanbase that can afford Warrior tickets and a 10:00 PM dinner at an over priced San Francisco restaurant.

    It all sounds great and yummy for the privileged classes, but it looks like East Bay fans, and fans from up the street in Bayview, are out of luck as far as transportation, admission and fancy 10:00 PM meals in “The City.”

    Aren’t people suppose to eat at the Arena? I see people at the concession stands all the time. What time do East Bay fans get home from the “City” after a game, dinner, and traffic on a weeknight? About 1:00AM?

    • So you’re implying that all East Bay fans poor… why?

      And your logic in inconsistent as hell. You are effectively arguing for there to be no development around new stadium(s) at the Coliseum because then people wouldn’t buy as much food at the games and would be kept in the area longer before and after the games. That’s straight up hypocrisy.

      • I’m not implying East Bay fans are poor at all. Are you kidding? Piedmont, Rockridge, Montclair, Croker Highlands, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayett, Wlanut Creek, Alamo, Danville etc.

      • Then why are you claiming they will not be able to attend games in SF? It’s hypocrisy.

    • Sports are an entertainment business. Owners want to get us much money as possible from the fans.

      To command these high prices, owners have to factor in the whole fan experience which includes entertainment options for fans before and after the events.

      This is especially true for teams trying to bring in more corporate dollars. These are companies that are brining in their customers and want to keep their customers entertained before, during and after the event.

      The owners of the Warriors aren’t catering to people that live in the Bayview, East Oakland, East Contra Costa County, etc. They are catering to large corporations and folks with lot’s of disposable income.

      You can say the owners are wrong, greedy, racist, etc and you might be right in some cases, but that doesn’t change reality. If you don’t like it, stop watching.

      • I don’t like it, and I don’t watch Warrior games on TV.

        I’ve been to two freebies at Oracle via a friend. It was enough to see what type of fans support that organization and their lack of respect for the city they’re in. Many are the high brow crowd from the Peninsula and from “The City.”

        I feel a much greater since of community at A’s and Raider games.

      • Prove that the Warriors are racist. You can’t. You’re just a slanderous tool and you and everyone here damn well knows it.

      • @Elmano – I’m confused. You think Warrior fans are the high brow folks from the city and Peninsula who hate Oakland, but you also think the Warriors are crazy for moving because they have the most passionate fans in the NBA? Or should the Warriors not move because their fans are passionate about hating Oakland?

      • No, not all Warrior fans are the high brow “Oakland is beneath me” crowd from the Peninsula and from “The City.” According to the Warriors half of the fans are from the East Bay.

        It just doesn’t feel like an Oakland sports crowd. Too much plaiying with the cellphones, too many selfies to put on their Facebook, too many “City” shirts and hats, and the fans are not nearly as loud and passionate as Oakland A’s and Oakland Raider fans.

        The fans may be the loudest in the NBA, but only the third loudest in Oakland. I suspect that may be due to the monied “I want to be where the hot ticket is” crowd, from the West Bay.

        In 2018, we’ll have an even higher level of pretentiousness at San Francisco Warrior games.

      • “They are catering to large corporations and folks with lot’s of disposable imcome.” Something to think about when discussing where the A’s will eventually end up LONG TERM in the Bay Area. FWIW, San Jose has the worlds 3rd highest GDP after Zurich, Swiss and Oslo, Norway (Brookings Institute). Pretty impressive stuff there!

    • Oh and by the way, Warriors games already aren’t very affordable. The average ticket costs drastically more than the average Sharks, Giants, or A’s ticket.

    • “That seems like nice access for people coming in from the Peninsula and the people from “San Francisco’s dynamic neighborhoods.”

      It’s nice access for East Bay fans as well. Short distance and easy freeway access or transit access that drops them right at the arena door. Having to change trains is not a big deal; a lot of East Bay fans have to change trains when taking BART to the Coli anyway.

      “I hope you’re including the people in Bayview just up Third Street along with the fans coming from Portrero Hill. You think these neighbors will be able to afford a ticket to the a Warrior game along with the dinner afterward?”

      Nice straw man/red herring. I fail to see what this has to do with anything.

      “Why is it, that everything about an “ideal” location for an arena has to do with “going out to dinner after the game.”

      I never said anything about after, my guess is most fans will have dinner before. But certainly it will be nice to have the option either way, which SF certainly offers.

      “That must be one wealthy fanbase that can afford Warrior tickets and a 10:00 PM dinner at an over priced San Francisco restaurant.”

      Why “overpriced”? SF offers lots of options in all pricing categories. Fans of all budgets will be accommodated to a much greater extent than they are at Oracle, which offers crappy arena food and few other options in walking distance.

      “Aren’t people suppose to eat at the Arena?”

      People aren’t “suppose to” do anything, and its nice to have options. The food at Oracle is crap unless you’re in the Courtside Club, and there are basically no other options nearby.

      “I see people at the concession stands all the time.”

      Because they have no choice.

      “What time do East Bay fans get home from the “City” after a game, dinner, and traffic on a weeknight? About 1:00AM?”

      No one is forcing anyone to have dinner at 10pm, most East Bay fans could be in bed by 11pm after a game if they wanted, same as now. And there is little traffic at 10pm other than game related traffic, which will be less at Mission Bay than at Oracle because of higher transit ridership.

      I can’t believe how much irrelevant bullshit you packed into one post.

      • So East Bay fans will have dinner before the Warriors game? What time will they need to leave Oakland?

        Also, you forgot to include the Amtrak stop at the Coliseum while throwing every mode of transportation known to man at the new Warriors Arena at Mission Bay. Did you include the pedicab’s to Mission Bay?

        The Coliseum has direct BART access, direct Amtrak access, direct 880 access, and direct access to OAK.

        Sorry, the Warriors are going to give the region inferior access to what they currently have at the Coliseum. There is no way to sugar coat this with talk of “Caltrain and transferring to a packed little MUNI car from BART.

  19. The Canucks are the only west coast team that won’t have an AHL team on the west coast. Hopefully they will move to Sacramento’s new arena.

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