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New name for Oakland Arena -- the Oracle


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Larry Ellison once tried and failed to buy the Golden State Warriors.

Now, the Silicon Valley billionaire gets to name the basketball team's home arena.

Oracle Corp. and the Warriors have signed a 10-year deal to rename the Arena in Oakland as Oracle, the two companies said Friday. The deal is worth approximately $30 million.

"This is a partnership between two major brands, combining one of the best known names in technology with one of the best known names in sports, both with a strong desire to win," Oracle president Charles Phillips said in a statement.

The decade-long naming agreement must still be approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, which manages the arena. The body is expected to tackle the matter at its Nov. 10 meeting. The Warriors' lease on the arena runs 11 more years.

Details of the proposal will be made public once the JPA approves the deal and will also be disclosed in a news conference Oct. 30.

Based in Redwood City, Oracle is the second largest software maker in the world.

Built in 1966, the Arena underwent a major renovation in 1997 for $140 million, and the Warriors and Coliseum Authority have sought a naming-rights sponsor since.

Warriors president Robert Rowell said the team welcomes "the opportunity to align ourselves with the Oracle brand."

"The Warriors are rapidly progressing toward our goal of becoming a championship organization and partnering with Oracle is another sign of that progress," Rowell said in a statement.

Ellison had aimed for an even closer relationship when he said two years ago that he had tried to buy the team from owner Chris Cohan. In an interview with The Chronicle in May 2005, Ellison also expressed his frustration with the Warriors' performance, criticizing the team's players, coaches and front office. Since then, the team has fired coach Mike Montgomery and replaced him with the last coach to lead the Warriors into the playoffs, 12 years ago, Don Nelson.

Ellison also has looked into the possibility of buying the 49ers or of owning an NFL team in Los Angeles, and he has expressed interest in owning another NBA team or a baseball team. The sport in which he's actually become a major player is sailing, most notably as an owner and sometime sailor for BMW Oracle Racing, which hopes to challenge for the America's Cup next year.

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