Warriors required to pay for Oracle Arena renovations

NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors has been ordered to pay around $40m (£31m/€35m) for renovation work at Oracle Arena, which it is set to leave next year.

The team currently plays at Oakland’s Oracle Arena but is due to move to the state-of-the-art Chase Center facility in Mission Bay, San Francisco in time for the 2019-20 NBA season.

The Associated Press news agency notes that the Warriors are required to help finance renovations of Oracle Arena with annual payments as part of a $150m bond taken out in 1996 by the government agency that manages the facility.

According to the Warriors, the team is only required to make these annual payments until the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, after which point it will leave the arena. However, as the AP reported, arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield said the team is required to continue paying off the bond until 2027.

The government authority also operates the Oakland Coliseum stadium, which serves as the home of NFL American football team the Raiders and Major League Baseball franchise the Athletics.

Larry Reid, Oakland City Council president and Coliseum Authority chair, said: “We all love the Warriors and appreciate their success on the court. However, the taxpayers of our community should not be on the hook for debt incurred and renovations completed at the Warriors request.”

The Warriors disagreed with the ruling. Team spokesman Raymond Ridder said: “Of course we are reviewing our options at this time, but as we’ve always said, we will fulfil any debt obligations that we owe.”

Image: Guillaume Meunier