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Golden State Considering Name Change to "San Francisco Warriors"

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@DEAD!: That's the thing. The Warriors ARE actually moving to San Francisco in a few years. They've already confirmed it & picked out the location of their new arena in SF. Basically once that happens, screw Oakland.

Oops how did I missed that? I had thought it was a proposed site.

Technically it is just proposed, but with the Warriors having bought the land in San Francisco already themselves, they're planning to build the arena themselves privately... there's really none of the usual public muckity muck that can screw it up at this point. They'll have to go through an EIR and a few minor city regulatory hurdles, but with the mayor backing them those will be far more a formality than they were going to be up at the Pier 30 site they wanted originally. And unlike the Pier site the Fed has no say.

Minor city regulatory hurdles anywhere else are always major hurdles in San Francisco. Such is the nature of the politics there.

No these are minor hurdles by San Francisco measures. In most cities they'd be nothing but formality. But there's nothing that can really derail the project at this point. Particularly given their main opposition has already declared victory and disbanded their efforts.

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Nothing about "Golden State Warriors" rolls off the tongue. San Francisco Warriors isn't silky smooth either but it would be the infinitely better choice, since San Francisco is an actual location and not just a corny nickname for a location.

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I still think Golden Gate Warriors makes the most sense. Especially if they're going to brand themselves around local bridges.

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It would if the Golden Gate Bridge connected San Francisco and Oakland (which I always figured it did as a little kid) rather than San Francisco and Marin County. I think the Golden Gate makes for better iconography than the Bay Bridge, which could be practically anywhere to most people, but as a name, I'm not sure it's better than San Francisco.

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It's great that we've seen the correction of "Florida Marlins" to "Miami Marlins" (which has unfortunately been cancelled out by the degradation of "Phoenix Coyotes" into "Arizona Coyotes"), ...

Everyone needs to understand the mindset of the individual regions...in the case of the Phoenix metro-area, they consider each community separate...people in Mesa or Chandler, or Glendale, or Tempe do not consider themselves as part of Phoenix, any more than people in Scottsdale do.

Most Arizonans (?) were offended that the Cardinals labeled themselves "Phoenix", when they played in Tempe. The Cards SHOULD HAVE named themselves "Arizona" in the beginning; this one act may have gone a long way in helping public relations initially.

Calling the hockey team "Phoenix" while playing in Glendale was not very endearing to the locals (from what I've heard; I don't live there), and there's also the issue of the Glendale-based NFL team having "University of PHOENIX" emblazoned on the football stadium.

I don't think one can use a one-size-fits-all approach with naming conventions; you need to take each region on a case-by-case basis.

I generally never disagree with you, but on this one I do. I live in Tempe, and have plenty of friends from all of those places listed, and I've heard them all refer to themselves as living in Phoenix. The area isn't big enough, well known enough, or far enough from Phoenix (Such as is the case with the distance from Los Angeles to Anaheim) to really be considered a separate entity. Not only that, it's all still part of Maricopa County.

This video clip has always cracked me up, because Roger pretty much sums up this area.

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In terms of linking the team's name to their market, Golden State is too broad and San Francisco is too narrow.

If they can figure out a way to represent the entire Bay Area in the name, that is the way to go. I like the idea of "Golden Bay Warriors", or maybe even "Bay City Warriors".

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Having grown up in the bay area and now living in socal, it just seems like the nba has always been a niche sport up north. The warriors as a product have never really caught the attention of a broad fan base, especially in sf/sj which is primarily due to their history of irrelevance in oakland aside from a few playoff runs. They just seem to be a basketball version of the a's now. A niche team that is supported by die hards that doesn't really appeal to the broader population.

With that said I'm not sure if any rebrand or name change is going to increase their appeal. A SF arena may help bring the franchise more upmarket and appeal to a more corporate clientele but we shall see how that goes.

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I have never heard the name "Bay City" ever used in the Bay Area to refer to anything.

Anyone remember the Bay City Rollers? I agree that is a completely bogus name that refers to nothing.

The only term close to that would be the Bay Cities that reside along the coast of the santa monica bay 400 miles to the south. Even down there nobody can agree on a unified grouping as Bay Cities/Beach Cities/North&South Bay/Westside are all in competition with one another and all represent a vaguely defined area.

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I have never heard the name "Bay City" ever used in the Bay Area to refer to anything.

That's because "Bay City" is in Southern California.

starsky-hutch-1.jpg

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In terms of linking the team's name to their market, Golden State is too broad and San Francisco is too narrow.

How? The Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox all have the entire New England region behind them despite only being named for Boston.

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I know absolutely nothing of the dynamic between Oakland and San Francisco, but i would think any Oakland area Warrior fans will most likely remain fans of the team if they rebranded as San Francisco. According to a breakdown of fan interest on facebook by zip codes, it looks like people in Oakland have no problem rooting for a team located right across the bay with San Francisco on the team name.

giants-athletics.png

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I know absolutely nothing of the dynamic between Oakland and San Francisco, but i would think any Oakland area Warrior fans will most likely remain fans of the team if they rebranded as San Francisco. According to a breakdown of fan interest on facebook by zip codes, it looks like people in Oakland have no problem rooting for a team located right across the bay with San Francisco on the team name.

giants-athletics.png

Before the raiders came back to ruin the coliseum experience and the bayfront stadium was built you could easily say that the fan split was 50/50.It was much more of an east bay/peninsula geographical split with the south end of the bay area rooting for both. Given the amount of bridges, freeway access, and stadium proximity, a casual fan could easily choose between the two. That has obviously changed dramatically in 15 years.

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Before the raiders came back to ruin the coliseum experience and the bayfront stadium was built you could easily say that the fan split was 50/50.It was much more of an east bay/peninsula geographical split with the south end of the bay area rooting for both. Given the amount of bridges, freeway access, and stadium proximity, a casual fan could easily choose between the two. That has obviously changed dramatically in 15 years.

Of course fan bases shift overtime and winning is the quickest way to build up a fanbase. I just don't foresee there being a huge backlash against the club if they were to become the San francisco Warriors. If anything they will improve their branding and actually come across as a legitimate sounding team. I had friends who were mavericks "fans" in college ask me where is golden state when they knocked of the mavs as the 8 seed. Your serious basketball fan knows they are the bay area's team, but most americans couldn't tell you anything about the club.

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Yeah, none of this Golden Bay, Bay City, City by the bay (ohhhh ohhhhh ohohoh!) crap. That's just making the problem even worse.

San Francisco, or stick with Golden State.

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Before the raiders came back to ruin the coliseum experience and the bayfront stadium was built you could easily say that the fan split was 50/50.It was much more of an east bay/peninsula geographical split with the south end of the bay area rooting for both. Given the amount of bridges, freeway access, and stadium proximity, a casual fan could easily choose between the two. That has obviously changed dramatically in 15 years.

Of course fan bases shift overtime and winning is the quickest way to build up a fanbase. I just don't foresee there being a huge backlash against the club if they were to become the San francisco Warriors. If anything they will improve their branding and actually come across as a legitimate sounding team. I had friends who were mavericks "fans" in college ask me where is golden state when they knocked of the mavs as the 8 seed. Your serious basketball fan knows they are the bay area's team, but most americans couldn't tell you anything about the club.

Yes the risk is very low in terms of alienating current fans as they are pretty much locked in as hard core fans and will continue to support the team much like the A's. The real question is will the casual more affluent nba fan and corporate sponsor be attracted to the SFW? I think it will have a little bit of an impact but I just really don't see the 415/650/408 area codes coming out in droves just because there's a new arena in SF and it's now a pricey SF product and not low rent Oak. I don't think there's enough die-hard interest in nba basketball. 9ers/Giants/Sharks more than suffice the sports appetite.

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I believe the san francisco market is large enough that the team won't have any issue will selling the tickets. What could happen though is most of the lower bowl tickets are bought up by the more affluent fans and corporations. Your typical affluent fan is less worried about making every game and is usually concerned about the bells and whistles that come with his seat package and treating clients out to a good night. In Houston, many times at tip off the arena only looks half full because your diehard sports fan typically isn't the one sitting in the seats that are visible on tv. With being a big market team, the common fan gets priced out of attending the games very quickly.

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I believe the san francisco market is large enough that the team won't have any issue will selling the tickets. What could happen though is most of the lower bowl tickets are bought up by the more affluent fans and corporations. Your typical affluent fan is less worried about making every game and is usually concerned about the bells and whistles that come with his seat package and treating clients out to a good night. In Houston, many times at tip off the arena only looks half full because your diehard sports fan typically isn't the one sitting in the seats that are visible on tv. With being a big market team, the common fan gets priced out of attending the games very quickly.

I agree. I think we may be approaching a tipping point though of what non corporate fans are willing to pay. Even though the 9ers are hyping their psl sales, the friends that I have that live in the area are all balking at the new pricing structure. The shiny new stadium effect is nowhere as novel as it was when Camden Yards opened up. Looking at some of the other new venues across the big 3 leagues and you'll see that many of them aren't meeting their overly optimistic revenue projections.

The corporate ticket phenomenon is still relatively new but it can definitely be felt inside the venues as the crowds are quite often late arrivers and early departers. Relying more and more on corporate tickets to turn a profit also seems risky as a ton of the tickets go unused so when management decides to start looking for better ROI's on client development or marketing the full season box is often the 1st thing on the chopping block. Saw this 1st hand.

SFW will be an interesting experiment to see if ownership can turn their product more upscale and become the SFG of hoops. The other interesting experiment is going on 150 miles east where the kings are essentially becoming a publicly funded for profit entity that will rely upon taxpayer dollars to turn a profit.

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@DEAD!: That's the thing. The Warriors ARE actually moving to San Francisco in a few years. They've already confirmed it & picked out the location of their new arena in SF. Basically once that happens, screw Oakland.

You know, I guess they only became "Golden State" in the first place to avoid being called "Oakland." In that sense you could consider SF the traditional home, and it would make sense to go back to it in the name. I can see Golden State being an oddity left to the dustbin with the Capital Bullets.

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