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Exterior view of the Oracle Arena

An overhead view of the Oakland sports complex; Oracle Arena is to left and the O.co Coliseum is to the right

Oakland Arena (originally Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, formally The Arena in Oakland and Oracle Arena, commonly Oakland Coliseum Arena, The Oracle, The New Arena, and The O) is an indoor arena, in Oakland, California, located in the Coliseum Industrial area. It was originally constructed as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in 1966.

History

Franchises to call the arena home

The arena was home to the Golden State Warriors[1] from 1971 to 2019, except the one-year hiatus while undergoing renovations. It was used by the Warriors intermittently as early as 1966. The California Golden Bears of the Pac-10 played the entire 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons at the arena while their primary home, Harmon Gym, was being renovated into Haas Pavilion. For some years before then, the Bears played occasional games against popular non-conference opponents at the arena.

The Coliseum's first tenants were the California Seals of the Western Hockey League, who moved there from the Cow Palace in anticipation of their transfer to the National Hockey League. The Coliseum continued to host the Seals[2] until they moved to Cleveland after the 1975–76 NHL season. The Coliseum also hosted the Bay Bombers (Roller Derby, 1966–1973) as well as the Golden Bay Earthquakes of the original MISL during the 1982-83 season. The Oakland Skates, a professional roller hockey team, also played here from 1993 to 1995.

Renovation

Over the years, the arena became increasingly outdated, lacking the luxuries of newer ones. With just over 15,000 seats, it was one of the smallest arenas in the league. Rather than building a new arena in Oakland – or, for that matter, in San Francisco or San Jose, as some wanted – the decision was made to proceed with a $121 million renovation that involved tearing down all of the old arena's interior and building new seating within the older confines. The original arena's external walls, roof and foundation remained intact, similar to what was done to the KeyArena in Seattle. The renovation began in mid-1996 and was completed in time for the Golden State Warriors to return in the fall of 1997 (they played the intervening season at the San Jose Arena). Included in the renovation was a new LED centerhung scoreboard and 360-degree fascia display from Daktronics.[3] The new arena seats 19,596 for basketball and 17,000 for ice hockey.

The Oracle

On October 20, 2006, the Golden State Warriors and the Oracle Corporation announced a 10-year agreement in which the Oakland Arena would be known as The Oracle. "The O" as it is often referred to as will continue to be managed by Oakland-Alameda County Authority (JPA) and SMG. The JPA approved the deal at its November 10 meeting. A formal press conference of the agreement was held on October 30.[4] That formal announcement refers to Oracle Arena.[5]

Attendance records

On May 13, 2007, 20,679 fans watched the Warriors lose to the Utah Jazz 115–101 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. This was the largest crowd to watch a game in the Warriors' 61-year history, and also the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in the state of California.

That record lasted until December 14, 2007, when the Warriors hosted the Los Angeles Lakers and packed in 20,705 at the Arena to set a new franchise and California attendance record.

The record was again broken on February 20, 2008, when the arena hosted 20,711 for the Warriors-Celtics game.[6]

This record was yet again broken on April 10, 2008 when Oracle Arena hosted 20,737 fans in a Warriors loss to the Denver Nuggets.

By the end of the 2016–17 regular season, Oracle had sold out 230 consecutive home games, a streak that continued throughout the team's playoff run. Oracle drew over 18,000 people per game for 12 straight seasons.

Warriors move across the Bay

Early in 2013, the Warriors announced they would build a new arena in San Francisco and move back to the city. It was originally suggested that the arena would be built on the decaying sites of Piers 30–32 near the foot of the Bay Bridge, but the plan was met with opposition due to concerns about traffic, environmental impacts and obstruction of views. In April 2014, the Warriors purchased 12-acres in Mission Bay as the site for a new 18,000-seat arena planned to open for the 2018–19 NBA season. The new location eliminated the need for voter approval, which would have been required for the original site, though it had been unanimously approved by the San Francisco Supervisors in November 2012. Because of delays due to litigation filed by arena opponents it is now planned to open at the start of the 2019–20 NBA season. The new arena will be named the Chase Center

On January 9, 2019, the San Francisco Giants announced that their home AT&T Park would be renamed Oracle Park, with Oracle Arena to soon change its name. The Golden State Warriors played their final regular season game at Oracle Arena on April 7, 2019 with a 131–104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Notably, the team decided to wear their "We Believe"-era uniforms for that game, with the uniform choice not being revealed at any point beforehand until the Warriors players took off their warm-up uniforms shortly before tipoff, much to the delight of the home crowd. The Warriors played their final playoff game at Oracle Arena on June 13, 2019, a 110-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The loss ended the Warriors' quest for a third consecutive NBA championship.

The arena remains open under its original name of the Oakland Arena after the Warriors' departure, and continues to be a popular concert venue in addition to being the home of the Oakland Panthers of the Indoor Football League beginning in 2020.

Notable events

It hosted WCW SuperBrawl 1999, the June 9 event of WWE Raw in 2008 and February 9 event of WWE Raw in 2009. On May 23, 2010, the arena was scheduled to host the inaugural Over the Limit Pay-Per-View, but the event was moved to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. It also hosted UFC 117 in 2010. On February 20, 2011, the arena hosted WWE Elimination Chamber. The Professional Bull Riders' Built Ford Tough Series held an event at the Oracle Arena in 2002 and 2008.

It has hosted three Andre Ward fights as well, against Edison Miranda, Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green.

The arena in Oakland hosted the West Regional of the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. It has twice before played host as the West Regional site in 1990 and 1995. It also hosted the 2000 NBA All-Star Game.

They also had a funeral for four fallen officers from the Oakland Police Department.

Creedence Clearwater Revival's performance in 1970 was filmed for television and released as an album, titled The Concert.

The Grateful Dead recorded Dick's Picks Volume 5 on December 26, 1979 and Dick's Picks Volume 27 on December 16, 1992 here.

The venue was also featured in the Duran Duran concert film Arena (An Absurd Notion) and As The Lights Go Down, filmed in 1984.

In the winter of 2003-2004, the Dave Matthews & Friends Tour (which only consisted of 12 stops across the country) concluded at the arena on January 16, 2004 and ended up clocking in at just over three hours, the longest of the tour. It's still the only time Matthews has covered The Rolling Stones' song "Can't You Hear Me Knocking".

German Industrial Metal act Rammstein performed at the Arena on May 18, 2011 on their first North American Tour in over 10 years.

References

External links