The End of the Warriors as We Know Them Express News
West Oakland, for example, a historically black neighborhood between downtown and the Bay Bridge, was once the home of Russell, and of baseball legends like Frank Robinson and Curt Flood, who attended high school together in the 1950s. It’s increasingly abuzz with tech workers, many commuting to the skyscraper forest swallowing up the Warriors across the bay.
The franchise arrived in the Bay Area in 1962, from Philadelphia, and claimed San Francisco for its name. The Warriors resided mostly at the Cow Palace in Daly City, just over San Francisco’s southern city limit.
They played some games at Oakland’s new arena during the 1967-68 season. They moved across the bay full time a few years later (with one notable return during the 1975 N.B.A. finals, forced by the Ice Follies) and changed the name of the franchise from “San Francisco” to the more collective “Golden State.”
That still gnaws in Oakland. They were never the Oakland Warriors.
Draymond Green, a Warriors forward, toured the new building this spring with Welts, the team president, and about a dozen members of the news media. Green was about 30 minutes late — traffic from the East Bay.
Welts and Green stood in the bowl of the new arena, gazing up at the empty air where the giant scoreboard will hang. It took imagination to see where the court would be, where the benches and baskets would be.
Welts pointed out that the Chase Center capacity will be 18,064, about 1,000 seats smaller than Oracle Arena. The ceiling is lower than in a lot of new arenas, he said, to help give Chase Center the acoustics and intimacy of Oracle Arena.
In some ways, many ways, the Warriors want fans to feel as if they never left. But injecting a new building with the old atmosphere is an impossible trick for a sports team.