The Golden State Warriors are leaving Oracle Arena after this season, for a fresh new arena in Mission Bay and home crowds even more dominated by Silicon Valley parasites and vampires than what they see now in Oakland. If there’s any sliver of silver lining for Golden State’s Oakland fans, it’s that the franchise will not be able to walk away from its financial obligations as freely as it’s walking away from the core of its fanbase.
Arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield ruled Monday that the Warriors will be on the hook for $40 million in debt incurred when Oracle received a $150 million renovation in 1996. This matter went to arbitration because the Warriors were attempting to float a reading of the 1996 contract—and, specifically, the meaning of the word “terminate” in the contract language—that would’ve left taxpayers to foot the remainder of the bill for renovations once the Warriors have left town. The city saw this as a bad-faith effort to hose Oakland taxpayers, when the renovations were made to the team’s needs and specifications:
“This was an after-the-fact attempt by the Warriors to rewrite the parties’ deal, and it would have left the people of Oakland and Alameda County holding the bag,” said Daniel Purcell, a partner Keker, Van Nest & Peters, which represented the city and county. “We are grateful that the arbitrator saw it our way.”
“It was yet another example of a very rich party trying to offload its debts on the public,” Purcell said.
The stadium scam has many forms, my friends. After the arbitrator’s ruling, the Warriors will reportedly be paying off the renovation debt until 2027.