Reporting Doug Sovern
OAKLAND (KCBS) – With the start of basketball season around the corner, the toughest battle for the Golden State Warriors may actually be off the court.
Both Oakland and San Francisco are battling over which city the team will call home, as the Warriors are preparing for one of their most promising seasons in years.
The city of Oakland tipped off “Warriors Week” with a news conference at Lake Merritt on Wednesday. Mayor Jean Quan tried to boost fan enthusiasm for what many experts said should be a playoff team, even though the Warriors intend to move across the bay to San Francisco within the next four years.
Quan said she doubts the team’s proposed waterfront arena will win environmental approval.
“I suspect that there’s so much opposition in San Francisco, that’s not happening quickly,” she told KCBS. “Oakland is prepared and ready to deal with the Warriors if they want a new arena also.”
The mayor also said she would love to see the Warriors be part of the “Coliseum City” project, which would replace the Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum with new facilities.
As Quan was hosting her Warriors event, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce was announcing a much bigger one, featuring actual members of the team, the owners and coaches, all noticeably absent from the Oakland tipoff.
The group is holding a “Welcome the Warriors Back to San Francisco” gala luncheon, scheduled for Monday.
Gwen Oldham with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce said momentum is building, and not waning for the arena plan.
“Everything that we’ve heard from the Golden State Warriors is that their plans are moving forward well,” Oldham said. “They say they are on track to deliver the new arena in time for the 2017 season.”
The Warriors are tipping off the 2013-14 season at home against the Los Angeles Lakers next Wednesday.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)