OAKLAND (KPIX) — The Golden State Warriors have big plans for their downtown Oakland practice facility after they move to the Chase Center in San Francisco next season, but the plans do not include playing there.
The team announced that the facility — which consists of two-and-a-half NBA-sized basketball courts and a warren of offices — would be converted into a community and health center and would house a series of Oakland nonprofits. The space will also continue to be used for Warriors youth basketball camps.
The center will be called Generation Thrive and is the product of a partnership between the Warriors Community Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. The nonprofits working within Generation Thrive will provide educational resources, college and career counseling, and health and wellness programs for underprivileged youths.
“We saw a real opportunity to re-purpose it in a way that would be a real demonstration of our ongoing commitment to Oakland and that’s what we got to announce today,” said Warriors team president Rick Welts.
Welts was joined onstage for the announcement by Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and representatives from the Warriors Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to keep our footprint in Oakland and to do amazing things for the next generation of kids who look up to us,” said Curry.
Schaaf said the facility is a sign that the Warriors are committed to keeping a presence in Oakland.
“You heard it here first!” she told the crowd. “The Warriors are not leaving Oakland!”
But as the team approaches its final post-season in Oakland, there are still some hard feelings. Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan lashed out on Twitter Monday after Warriors player Klay Thompson suggested that the crowd at Oracle Arena lacked enthusiasm during Sunday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns.
“Fans in Oakland were the loudest in the nation-then Warriors owners chose to ditch the fans for a location that is expensive and harder to get to,” she tweeted. “We didn’t abandon you Klay—owners abandoned us.”
As the Warriors were making their announcement about the new center, half a mile away on Al Attles Court in Oakland’s Chinatown, school children who were playing basketball said they were happy that there would be a new community center, but it’s not the same as having their heroes so close.
“It’s kind of sad they’re moving to SF,” said Genevieve Saechow.
Her friend, Ethan Chao agreed: “Once they leave, I don’t know. I won’t really feel like they’re part of Oakland anymore.”
Curry admitted, it will be a big change for Oakland.
“I mean, there’s no substitute for playing the actual games in Oakland,” Curry said. “But in terms of what they can look forward to in being a part of the organization, a lot of good is going to come out of this building.”
Generation Thrive is scheduled to open in early 2020. It will also have a satellite office in San Francisco.