This is a big win for the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda, and a huge loss for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were also nasty about this and to the City and the County. All that goes away, now. It also paves the way for the lawsuit pitting the Oakland Raiders and the NFL against the City of Oakland.
Oakland, CA – Today, a San Francisco-based arbitrator ruled that the Golden State Warriors must fully complete payments on a $100 million-dollar, 30-year bond for renovation at Oracle Arena. The outstanding balance of which, paid at $7.5 Million annually, will equal approximately $40 million when the Warriors move to San Francisco.
“We are pleased by today’s ruling and believe that it’s the Warriors, not the Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers who should repay this debt,” said Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Chair and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. “We issued these bonds in 1996 in collaboration with the team and with an agreement in place. We’ve simply asked the Warriors to honor their agreement,” he added.
In 1996, the Warriors signed a 20-year lease to play at Oracle Arena with the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority. The Warriors extended that lease in 2016. The Warriors have argued that their lease obligations end when they terminate their lease for the 2019-20 season.
After extensive discussion, the parties remained at odds and thus binding arbitration was accepted by both parties. The arbitrator ruled today against the Warriors.
Coliseum Executive Director Scott McKibben said, “The terms of the lease were clear in our eyes. The Warriors committed to pay this debt. This money was spent to make specific renovations to meet the Warriors’ needs. We simply wanted them to honor the agreement, regardless of where they will be playing their home games in the future.”
Oakland City Council President and Coliseum Authority Vice-Chair Larry Reid added, “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. I’m proud that we have stood firm and that the arbitrator has properly placed this obligation where it belongs.”
Golden State Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder said the team would issue a statement later Monday.