NBA champs or chumps? Warriors want to leave their portion of $40 million arena debt on the court


A disagreement over the Golden State Warriors’ obligation to pay a previously agreed portion of Oracle Arena’s reconstruction debt has simmered in public for three years, or since the team expressed interest in moving to San Francisco. Now, the matter appears to be heading toward arbitration with the reigning NBA champs arguing they owe nothing past 2019.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (OACCA) board commissioners will decide Friday morning to hire the law firm of Keker, Van Nest & Peters, LLC to represent it in an arbitration demand and counterclaim with the Warriors.

The team is scheduled to open the Chase Center in San Francisco in time for the 2019-2020 basketball season. Based on the timeline, the Warriors’ remaining portion of the debt is estimated to be $40 million.

In order to pay for the arena remodel, the Coliseum JPA issued in 1996 a 30-year, $140 million bond. The deal stipulated the team split the debt service payments with the City of Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers.

In a letter, obtained by the East Bay Times, attorneys for the Warriors argue the team’s arena debt obligation ends following the conclusion of its lease in 2019.

“This predicament is entirely of the OACCA’s own making, as it bargained for a 20-year term in the license agreement while issuing 30-year bonds,” said a lawyer for the team, according to the newspaper.

Coliseum JPA commissioners will also be dealing with its other relocating tenant during Friday morning’s meeting, the Oakland Raiders.

On the agenda is another discussion over whether the Coliseum JPA will participate in a fan-organized potential lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders and the National Football League for failing to follow its own bylaws, leading to the team’s relocation to Las Vegas, announced earlier this year.

4 thoughts on “NBA champs or chumps? Warriors want to leave their portion of $40 million arena debt on the court

  1. By MW:

    Concerning the post of 6:51PM. Certainly it is quite possible that the local politicians could have arranged to have the contract written much better, AND PERHAPS ALSO MUCH TIGHTER, so that there would have been a lot less weasel room for the Warriors if they eventually did decide to leave, and as they have now done, to argue they were off the hook for this and that financial obligations.

    And since the politicians were offered, and thru tons of free tickets, a huge amount in lightly disguised bribes, it is also quite possible that they did not care if the public was sold downriver.

    However regardless of legal technicalities, I am surprised, and although only slightly, that the Warriors would risk such a huge public relations disaster of appearing to see what they could pull and get away with when they could easily afford to pay the money. And especially since: one, the city of Oakland has huge financial problems; two, the Warriors already look more than sleazy enough by deserting Oakland for San Francisco; and three, with some Warriors' players having individual contracts of over 20M per year, and I would assume a total team player payroll of not less than about 200M per year – it seems almost like a group of multi millionaires going into a restaurant, staying all night, and ordering non-stop the very most expensive filet mignon, lobster, champagne, and caviar, but then being too cheap and selfish to tip the waitress, and simply because they thought they could get away with it.

    And if the above was not already bad enough, the Warriors are not even an entrenched and long established local team. Instead for awhile they were the Philadelphia Warriors, then they moved to San Francisco, then they moved to Oakland, and now they are moving back to San Francisco.

    In other words when it comes to loyalty to their local fans and local city, or whoever their local fans and local city are at a particular moment, the Warriors do not even rate a zero.


  2. Maybe the focus should be on the pols who agreed to the financing terms in the first place. I wonder if maybe just maybe the knowledge that they would be getting free tickets to use or hand out for all the shows and games might have influenced their decisions in negotiating terms with the teams and promoters. Wasn't there an earlier fiasco in which the Raiders successfully argued that their contract re who would bear the costs of remodeling the Mausoleum, omitted reference to the seats and therefore did not include the seat and therefore the taxpayers were on the hook exclusively for that part of it. It's great when pols get in way over their heads to MAGA or to “create jobs” or, blah, blah, and then, after their friends and themselves and supporters be they union or corporate contributors all get their cut we have a nice shiny place to create traffic jams, drunken fights, “this game is blacked out in your local viewing area”, some of the losing-est teams in sports history (the Raiders, the A's, and back when the Warriors were the Sorryers for so long prior to their recent miracle awakening before packing off to SF…..ok, I'm exaggerating some, but most of the good A's stuff, and most but not all good Warriors stuff prior to the present, with the exception of We Believe, and including Run TMC, was before any remodel. Also before any remodel was when Jason Kidd won the state finals for St Joe's )


  3. By MW:

    This could get interesting, and with a lot of the more politically connected “saints” and paragons of honesty and integrity of the Bay area's legal profession involved.

    For starters, prominent lawyer/politician Doug Boxer, and who lives in Oakland and also has his law office in Oakland – AND HE IS ALSO THE SON OF FORMER US SENATOR BARBARA BOXER – heads an organization by the name of LET'S GO OAKLAND.

    However, Doug “LETS GO OAKLAND” Boxer accepted a fee of hundreds of thousands of dollars for his assistance in arranging for the Warriors to leave Oakland and move to San Francisco. so therefore my suggestion is that Doug Boxer get a job as a professor at a Bay area law school teaching legal ethics. Doug Boxer is also seriously thinking of sooner or later running for mayor of Oakland. If he does become mayor of Oakland, perhaps Doug “LET'S GO OAKLAND” Boxer could go into partnership with a trucking company and then arrange for virtually all of Oakland's major assets to be moved out of the city.

    (Believe it or not, law schools do actually have courses in legal ethics. In fact considering the “standards” of the legal profession and most lawyers, if I were the head honcho at a law school, I would make Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bernard Madoff, and Pablo Escobar my head professors in charge of teaching “ethics.”)

    And Keker/Van Nest was the lead law firm in charge of harassing, intimidating, and trying to ruin and destroy the lives of the whistleblowers who had the “gall” and the “nerve” to tell the truth about Lance Armstrong.

    (Such sleazy creatures as Lance Armstrong and Harvey Weinstein would never be able to get away with their criminal activities for so long without the assistance of organized crime and kidnapping rings that pretend to be law firms. One of the major techniques sleazy organized crime rings that pretend to be law firms use to harass, silence, intimidate, and destroy whistleblowers is kidnapping them, and they get away with it by pretending those kidnapping sessions are supposedly deposition and discovery, and they have those kidnapping sessions go on basically forever as part of a financial battle of attrition.)


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