The "new" arena here in Oakland opened in 1966, and the facility underwent a massive
renovation just a few years ago to bring it to its current state. It is primarily the home of the
Golden State Warriors, and history buffs can remember that the ABA Oakland Oaks won
their first and only league title in this very building in its inaugural year. The arena was
getting ready to host the 2000 NBA All Star game. You can find this building right next door
to Network Associates Coliseum, home of the Raiders and the Athletics, and has easy
access via a nearby BART rail station and sufficient parking areas.
We had just arrived earlier in the day, and were looking forward to our first event in
California. Our hotel was close enough to actually see the arena in the distance, but still a
drive, so we headed out to find a cool restaurant and then the game. Only problem is, there
was absolutely no place we could find that looked halfway decent. We kept widening the
circle, and plunged ourselves into some dreary and depressing neighborhoods that abut
this sports complex. Basically, just not a great destination.
The arena itself looks pretty imposing, with grand staircases which lead you to the entrance
door. We assume that there are better ways to get in for the physically challenged.
The concourses are pretty ordinary, and the fan amenities available require a walk back
downstairs.. for example, the team store, very large and well stocked, required a walk down
off the main concourse. Club seat amenities, such as the Courtside Club, are also located
on the ground level.
The seating bowl is octagon shaped, with an eight sided scoreboard in the center. We had
seats in the second row in the upper deck, and the pitch was such that our view of the
court was partially obstructed by the guy sitting in row 1. Pretty bad! The suites ring the
arena above the 100 level. Another interesting feature to note is that the retired numbers
of the team appear as backlit panels along the sideline balconies.
Those backlit panels include Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond and Al Attles.
Their one world championship was in 1975.
They gutted this building and rebuilt it from top to bottom, but the result is still a very plain
arena with nothing outstanding to remember it by. The team is mired in the dumps, and the
night we were here there was a huge contingent of Sacramento fans who made the 80 mile
trek to cheer for their team. Otherwise, just a bland and ordinary experience... hopefully
things get better as this road trip progresses.
Food and team store 4
Scoreboard and electronics 5
Fan support 5
Location and neighborhood 3
Banners and history 6.5
In game entertainment 6
Concourses/fan comfort 2