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

COLISEUM JPA

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.