SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Despite the loss, Saturday was a truly special night for thousands of Warriors fans. The team officially took the floor for the first time in their new home at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
After seven years of planning and building, the Warriors took on the Lakers and lost 123-101. During the preseason opener, all eyes were on the players and the shiny new billion-dollar digs.
“Brand new venue, brand new feel, I mean it’s so high tech and it’s just amazing, beautiful, huge venue, look at these plush seats,” said Anthony Gooch of San Jose.
Many fans came extra early before tip-off to catch their favorite players on the court warming up.
“I’m really excited like I love the Warriors, I’m a diehard fan, I’ve been waiting for this day,” said Maddie Holloway of Los Gatos. “The new stadium is so beautiful and just so big and like you can tell that everyone put a lot of thought into the stadium.”
Many longtime fans felt immediate differences in the venues.
“I mean it’s Roaracle, there’s so many memories there, but I’m excited for everything that the franchise will do here,” said Julian Asefi of Martinez.
Chase Center has a smaller seating capacity than Oracle Arena at about 18,000 seats.
“I feel like it’s a lot more compact here, like you’re a lot closer to everything, and it feels like everyone around you is a lot closer to you,” said Patrick Hill of San Jose.
Anand Swaminathan of San Francisco has been a season ticket holder for five years and sits courtside.
“We’re finding actually that some of the things are the same, some of the staff, which is really exciting to see that, but at the same time, the energy, the excitement, the freshness of the area, the food options, it’s really great to see the difference,” he said.
Saturday’s game was also the first chance for many fans to try out the variety of local, unique eats on the concourse, including Old Skool Cafe and Bakesale Betty.
The next game at Chase Center is on Thursday. The season opener against the Clippers is on October 24.