Shortly after the Warriors finished off Cavs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals tonight, Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears sent out this tweet:
Warriors parade Friday at 10 am.Starts in front of team facility, down Broadway along Lake Merritt to Henry J Kaiser. pic.twitter.com/c0YbKguDLM
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 17, 2015
There you have it. A parade in Oakland, a nice route to traverse through downtown, uptown, and Lake Merritt. It should be savored, for not only is this the first Warriors’ title in 40 years, this will be the first parade in Oakland in 34 years. The somber tone that came with Loma Prieta’s interruption of the 1989 World Series led to no parade to celebrate. The 1975 Warriors’ championship was not only played at the Cow Palace due to scheduling conflicts with an ice show at the Coliseum Arena, the championship parade was held in downtown San Francisco. That makes the last Oakland championship parade the one that followed the last Oakland Raiders Super Bowl win, in 1981.
Then, like now, the champions intend to leave Oakland. Though the preferred destination for the Dubs is only across the bay and not Los Angeles, there is a palpable tentativeness to the situation that has created tension among some of the region’s fans. The same goes for the Raiders and A’s. Thankfully, that can all subside as the celebration continues throughout the summer.
Normally a momentous occasion like this gives a host city a boost of political will that can be used to push a stadium campaign. Not in the Warriors’ case. The Dubs are taking all the goodwill and using it for their own political fight against arena opponents in San Francisco. It’s not unlike the 49ers, who used a string of playoff appearances to solidify the ticket base enough to fund Levi’s Stadium. Then again, the new stadium honeymoon period sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, ask the Niners.
It’s fitting that the parade route will end at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, an old building that lays dormant while developers figure out how to rehabilitate the landmark and make it profitable. HJKCC was an occasional alternate home venue during the Warriors’ first few years in San Francisco, before the Warriors started playing games at the Coliseum Arena. The Dubs permanently moved there in 1971. Now they’re planning to move back to SF. It all seems so cyclical, doesn’t it?