The crowd at Oracle Arena helped push the Warriors into the NBA playoffs, but will the energy be as high if the team moves to The City?
Despite their struggles over the years, the Warriors are one of only seven teams that has averaged more than 18,000 fans a game for eight straight years. As legislation for a waterfront arena at piers 30-32 navigates its way through city and state government, fans attending Game 6 of the Warriors series with the Denver Nuggets expressed mixed feeling about the prospects of a cross-bay move.
“I think it will change the crowd,” Oakland’s Mark Mendez said. “If they move to San Francisco, they’re not going to have the same kind of fans that they have here in Oakland.”
Mendez, who has attended Warriors games since his childhood, said he fears being priced out if the team moves across the Bay Bridge.
“It will be more expensive, no doubt about that,” he said. “I’m already struggling to buy tickets to this place.”
James Scott, who drove up from San Jose to cheer on the Warriors, said the audience will lose its diversity in The City.
“Look around, everybody’s here right now,” Scott said. “I don’t think you’ll get that with the San Francisco crowd. They’ll cater to the tech market.”
But others insisted that the team would thrive with a first-class arena.
“I think they’ll go big if they move to The City,” Tommy Ngo said.
Zachary Koscki, who traveled from Santa Clara, said new facilities will help the Warriors continue their current success.
“I think it will help them attract more high-end players,” he said. “Just the draw of being in San Francisco with a brand-new stadium on the water.”
Hayward’s Richard Sucgang dismissed the suggestion that a move to The City will change the crowd. He said Warriors fans travel from all around the Bay Area to support the team and that won’t change with a new arena.
“I go to Giants games and they’re some of the best fans, too,” he said. “Bay Area fans will support their team wherever they are.”