The Warriors Winning Means More Than the Game of Basketball
Sports teams have a way of bringing people of a city or a nation together in the midst of tragedy and change. Right now the Golden State Warriors are in the midst of one their greatest seasons ever. They are chasing history with every game they play. With all the success with the franchise and inside the Oracle, there has been great change in the city that hosts and supports the Warriors; Oakland.
Exploring the history of Oakland we find that it has been historically violent and dangerous. It is the third most dangerous city in the United States, with 1,683 crimes committed per 100,000 citizens. The police department has paid an estimated $74 million in reparations for police abuse as far back as 2014. But with the success of the Warriors this season comes great change and the city of Oakland has been exposed to the infinite potential within it’s city limits.
However, the Warriors are on the verge of moving out of Oakland, back across the bay, to San Francisco. According to the NY Times, “The Warriors have plans to move back to San Francisco, to a glassy waterfront arena, as early as 2018.” The Warriors have lived in Oakland for the past 45 years. They play in the Oracle Arena and practice off Broadway in downtown Oakland. Continuous support, through the highs and lows, has torn the city apart and brought it back together.
“Oakland citizens deserve something for supporting the team through the rough years. We deserve a new arena or an expansion of the existing arena in Oakland; the city in which we, as Warrior fans, have thrived alongside the team.”
The organization is on the verge of abandoning this city.
Not only will the Warriors vacate the Oracle, but they will vacate the lives of those who lived a short Bart ride away from the arena. Moving to “upscale” San Francisco will skyrocket ticket prices and transportation costs. Tickets prices are already at an all time high due to the Warriors winning the 2014–2015 NBA championship. So what will happen to the fans left on what some people call the rowdy side of the bay? Not only are the Warriors planning to leave, but the Oakland Raiders and Athletics are on the verge of leaving because of inconsistencies in Alameda.
The people of Oakland will lose out on three separate sports teams, which means three huge sources of city revenue. Alone the Warriors are listed number 6 according to Forbes NBA Team Valuations. According to Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, “Forbes valued the Warriors at $750 million in 2014, $555 million in 2013, $450 million in 2012 and $363 million in 2011.” Clearly they have grown in popularity and income. But with the prevalence of violence, drugs, and sex trafficking, and the Warriors leaving Oakland, the city will surely remain the rowdy city in the bay.
For now the citizens have a distraction from the harsh realities outside of Oracle Arena. They have the Golden State Warriors knocking on the door of history. A sense of pride is sweeping the city. What will happen if the Warriors leave Oakland? Who will the citizens root for when they have no teams left? Sports unite, and they can also divide.
If the Warriors leave and change their name from the Golden State Warriors to the San Francisco Warriors it will be a huge slap in the face to Oakland. Oakland will return to the city the rest of the Bay Area neglects. Violence and crime will spike and the citizens will have a gaping hole in their hearts. Once again it will not be from the Warriors because they lost, but because they left.