Stadium Review: Oracle Arena

The Oracle Arena has had quite the naming history through the years. The building first opened as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena back in 1966. At some point in the middle of the ‘90s it became clear that this name was too much of a mouthful and in 1997 the building became known as The Arena in Oakland. This name lasted for just under a decade, before in 2005 the name was shortened again, this time to Oakland Arena. It stayed this way for just two years before the corporate world came calling and the building became the Oracle Arena.

The Oracle Arena has had quite the naming history through the years

The Oracle Arena has had quite the naming history through the years

It may shock you to know that the Golden State Warriors’ arena is actually the largest by seating capacity in California, as with a possible 19,596 fans under the roof it seats more than both the Staples Center (L.A.) and the Sleep Train Arena (Sacramento). It is also the oldest arena in the entire NBA as construction on the building was finished in 1966 at a cost of $25 million. To put that a little more in perspective it is the equivalent of $182 million in 2015 dollars.
The Warriors were actually not the first tenants of the building, though they have been playing games intermittently at the Oracle Arena since its opening year. The California Seals of the Western Hockey League played in the building for one year after moving across the bay from the Cow Palace. This move was done because the owners had been promised an NHL franchise (which became the California Golden Seals) if they moved to the new building. The hockey team did not sell however in Oakland and the franchise moved to Cleveland after nine struggle filled seasons.
Due to the age of the facility the Oracle Arena has hosed more minor and major league teams than almost any other NBA arena. From big four teams like the Golden Seals and Warriors, to the Oakland Oaks of the ABA and the Golden Bay Earthquakes of the NASL, many sports have been played under this roof. The Oracle Arena was even home to the Oakland Skates of the RHI (Roller Hockey International) which was an inline hockey league which operated for six years in the mid to late ‘90s.
As with any building constructed in the 1960s, the arena has become outdated over time. Some of this wear and tear was alleviated in a renovation which took place between 1996 and 1997. The renovation involved completely gutting the building, leaving just the original arena’s exterior walls, roof and foundation intact. At a cost of $121 million the budget was equivalent to what some teams at the time were spending on brand new arenas. This has not proven to be enough though as the lack of luxury boxes, along with the arena being in lower income Oakland as opposed to more prosperous San Francisco has led to the team planning to relocate to a new arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Fran in time for the 2018-19 NBA season.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

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