As the Chronicle and the Business Times reported, there was a day-long fan event celebrating the Warriors Tuesday, who helped the cable station TNT to kick off the opening of basketball season last night which, already? But rather than do it on the Warriors actual home turf of Oakland, where the city put on a big parade for the team back in June, TNT went for Fisherman's Wharf with Alcatraz and the East Bay in the background of the shot instead.
Yes, the Chron says Oakland ended up a "loser" during yesterday's fun at Pier 43 and on TV, and the Business Times calls it a "slap in the face," but TNT sees the Warriors as a "Bay Area" team, and apparently the team themselves already has one foot out the door in Oakland, with their arena (maybe) poised to begin construction sometime soon in SF. Says Craig Barry, the executive vice president of production at Turner Sports, "We felt that Golden State is the Bay Area team. Maybe people from Oakland will differentiate, but if you ask Golden State (the team), that’s how they feel."
There's a fair amount of sour grapes in the Chron piece, not the least of which came from a Charles Barkley quote from Monday, saying, "I’d rather go to Oakland than San Francisco. They have a tremendous fan base. I’m disappointed that they’re going to leave Oakland. You want a rabid fan base. That place was always loud. Even when the team wasn’t no good, it was loud."
The team, meanwhile trolled Barkley, via t-shirt, for his January comment about jump-shooting teams not being able to take a championship.
On a related note, the Business Times reports that the biggest foes of the new arena, the Mission Bay Alliance, seized on the season opener to suggest that San Francisco should pay Oakland "To make amends ... for the potential negative economic effects that the NBA champs’ departure could have on the East Bay city."
SF's chief economist quickly shut down this argument about a mitigation fee, throwing out eight case studies of cities that have rebounded with their arenas after teams have left.
Also, while 50 percent of Warriors fans may come from the East Bay, 41 percent are from SF and the Peninsula.