The Golden State Warriors will be moving into the Chase Center in a few years, but they shouldn’t change their name to “San Francisco.”
In 1962, the Philadelphia Warriors packed their bags and headed West. They traveled across the country and made their home in the Bay Area. From that point on, they became the “San Francisco” Warriors.
The team played throughout the Bay Area. Most of their home games when they arrived were in Daly City’s Cow Palace. They played in San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium in the mid ’60’s, but also found themselves in Oakland and San Jose.
In 1971, the team was renamed the “Golden State” Warriors as they played most of their games in Oakland. In 1972, they moved into Oracle Arena (then known as the Oakland Arena). The team has been their ever since.
The Warriors will continue to play in Oakland until the 2019-20 season. They’ll move back to San Francisco and play in the now-under-construction Chase Center. The team will just be across the Bay Bridge, but the move has become a divisive topic.
It’s never easy to lose your home team, even if it is just a short BART ride away. So, while, the organization and San Franciscans are celebrating the eventual move, Oakland fans feel like they’re losing a defining aspect of their city.
The Warriors have undergone a lot of changes since Joe Lacob and co. took over. They’ve changed their logos, become a championship-level team, and a marquee organization. Golden State have become a top-class franchise, from top to bottom, creating success at every level. They’re transitioning into a more exciting version of the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the team moving to Chase Center, many are wondering if the team is going to drop the “Golden State” and add “San Francisco.” They shouldn’t. I write that as a San Francisco native, who loves his city and is pretty excited about the new arena.
Joe Lacob says while no official decision has been made, he doesn't expect the team to change its name from Golden State to San Francisco.
The Warriors do not belong to once place. They are not just Oakland’s, just like they shouldn’t be San Francisco’s. Calling the Warriors “the Bay’s team’ isn’t just a slogan to sell t-shirts, it’s a true indicator of what the team means to the region.
From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to rename the team the San Francisco Warriors. Why alienate thousands of fans who feel a connection to the basketball team that represents their whole region? It’s much more profitable to have an inclusive and widespread brand.
But, more importantly, the team should respect its fans. They’re already pricing a lot of hardcore fans out, but that’s expected–it’s the cost of having a championship-level team. If the organization is going to transport the team from one city and one culture to another very different one, the least it can do is keep the name that means so much to so many.
The Warriors are going to move to San Francisco in a few years. The ticket prices will go up and, as COO Rick Welts said at the groundbreaking ceremony, the team is becoming more than a sports team. They’re an entertainment entity.. Chase Center wants to be the Madison Square Garden of the West and the Staples Center of Northern California.
The Golden State Warriors are the Golden State Warriors. They shouldn’t be anything else, no matter where they play.