Oakland Pride: Tribute to Oracle Arena as Warriors Leave for SF
As the Warriors close their last season in Oakland, we pay tribute to the arena’s storied history: Record-shattering NBA games, bad-ass roller derby, and legendary concerts…
The Golden State Warriors’ last game at Oracle Arena in Oakland wasn’t the perfect goodbye we hoped it would be.
Instead of ending with a Warriors victory, the Toronto Raptors closed down Oracle Arena with a 114-110 Game 6 win and clinched the NBA Finals.
After the final buzzer, disappointed fans in yellow shirts filed out of the oldest arena in the NBA, knowing that the next time they see the Warriors play a home game, it won’t be in Oakland but at the new Chase Center in San Francisco.
Maybe we Dub Nation fans can’t celebrate a season win this year, but we can – and will – celebrate the arena itself as one of Oakland’s most storied buildings.
Since it opened in 1966, the arena has hosted record-shattering NBA games, bad-ass roller derby matches, over-the-top pro wrestling, and legendary rock concerts.
Among the recent tributes to the arena, Under Armour released limited edition kicks inspired by the arena’s thundering crowds and star player Steph Curry’s 10-year history with the Warriors.
The Curry 6 “Roaracle” colorways are red (like the Oracle logo) and lime green and include decorative decibel meters on the tongue and in the arch.
The left shoe insole features the word “Roar” and the right insole says “This is our house.” For just $130, you can walk around in your own personal homage to the arena and the Warriors.
Or, for free, you can read our tribute to Oracle Arena and the memories made there:
1. A Place in NBA History
The original tenants in what was first known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena actually weren’t ballers with hoop dreams.
The arena opened in 1966 for the California Seals of the National Hockey League, who had moved over from the Cow Palace. It was all about skates and sticks for a year until The Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association started playing there in 1967-69.
The Warriors, who had been playing most of their home games at the USF War Memorial Gym in San Francisco, moved to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in 1971.
The Warriors quickly made their mark on the hardwood and won their first NBA Finals there in 1975.
The Warriors would take four decades to win another championship, but the home court advantage went into full effect in 2015, when the Warriors broke Western Conference records for winning the most games on the home court. More championships followed in 2017 and 2018.
Sports Illustrated recently highlighted some of the best NBA performances that took place in Oakland’s arena, including when:
- LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scored a combined 82 points during Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
- Steph Curry set the record for making the most three-pointers (13) during one game in 2016.
- Eric “Sleepy” Floyd set playoff records for points (29) and field goals (12) in a quarter and points (39) in a half during the 1987 Western Conference Semifinals.
- Rick Barry set the record for most points scored (64) during a game in 1974.
2. Fun While It Lasted
You can mark past eras by the alternative sports played at Oracle Arena… The ’70s: The Bay Bombers were the most fabled team in bad-ass roller derby history. The ’80s: The Golden Bay Earthquakes of the Major Indoor Soccer League played off the walls here. The ’90s: During the inline skating boom, the Oakland Skates were a founding franchise of the start-up Roller Hockey International league.
3. Full Contact
We can’t forget about WWE’s WrestleMania and Hulk Hogan’s performances at Oracle Arena. Hogan even dabbled in some wrestling/basketball cross-marketing by famously taking over the Warriors Twitter account in 2014 in an effort to fire up the fans. WWE events are still held at the Oracle Arena.
4. Legendary Rock Concerts
In 1974, Motown legend Marvin Gaye returned to live performance here after a four-year break. His live album from that tour, “Marvin Gaye Live!”, sold millions of copies and topped the R&B album chart for two weeks.
The Grateful Dead played 66 concerts here, more than at any other venue.
Paul Simon launched his Bay Area farewell tour at Oracle Arena. And Sir Elton John’s farewell tour said goodbye to the arena in January.
More major acts are coming, including pop superstar Shawn Mendes in July, Iron Maiden and KISS in September, and Celine Dion in April 2020.
5. For the Kids
These two family friendly staples aren’t going away anytime soon: Disney on Ice (Oct. 17-20) and the Harlem Globe Trotters, so keep an eye out for upcoming dates. Of course, what we really want to see is the “Harlem Globe Trotters on Ice.” Coming soon…?
6. The Future
The post-Warriors Oracle Arena will remain open as a venue for concerts, occasional sports, and special events.
The Oracle Arena is part of the 135-acre Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, whose future is a hot topic because the Warriors aren’t the only local sports team leaving.
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020, and the Oakland A’s have been searching for a site for a new ballpark for years.
The complex sits on valuable waterfront and BART-accessible real estate, sparking the imagination of local officials, developers, and investors.
In most visions, Oracle Arena would remain as a concert and events center. Possible uses for the rest of the complex include housing an NFL expansion team, building Silicon Valley east, adding youth sports fields, and developing commercial space, hotels, and homes.
The Oakland A’s have offered to assume control of the sprawling property from Oakland and Alameda County and redevelop it.
But will the City and the County be willing to part with such a huge chunk of profitable land?
Plenty of questions remain, but we’re excited to see what the future brings!