it was not so long ago that Oakland hosted a “farewell” game to one of its beloved teams, as the Raiders dismantled Denver on Monday Night Football in what was intended to be their final game in Oakland. The Raiders came back for another year, because they didn’t have anywhere else to play, but that won’t be the case for the Golden State Warriors, as Chase Arena is on schedule to open in San Francisco prior to the beginning of next basketball season in October.
Had the Warriors lost Game 5 against the Raptors tonight, they would never have played in Oakland again after being there since the 1962 season. But they held on for a one-point victory, and the Oracle Arena will be rocking for the real farewell game, Game 6 on Thursday night. It will be played right next to the Oakland Coliseum that the Raiders will say their last goodbyes to later this year, with the final regular season game against the Jaguars on December 15. I suppose stranger things have happened than a Raiders home playoff game, but let’s not count any chickens here.
It’s a pretty bad look for the city of Oakland to lose two of their most storied professional teams in the same year, but have their most irrelevant team, the A’s, approved for a brand new stadium at Howard Terminal. It does not seem possible for a city government to bungle a situation this badly, but Oakland has managed it.
Despite their alarming incompetence, there is little doubt that both the Warriors and Raiders will feel the love from their Oakland faithful before they head to more lucrative climes. While the Raiders will move one state over, the Warriors at least will be just a bridge crossing away.