Golden State Warriors returning to San Francisco

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The Golden State Warriors are moving back to San Francisco, team officials confirmed at a news conference held on the city’s waterfront this morning.

The Warriors, who have spent the past 41 years across the Bay in Oakland, plan to build a new San Francisco arena by 2017 at Piers 30-32, the site of this morning’s news conference.

Team co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, NBA Commissioner David Stern and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee were among those on hand today at the site, located just south of the Bay Bridge.

“This has been a remarkable journey for us,” said Lacob, whose ownership group bought the team 18 months ago. “We hope to be here for a very long time.”

The Warriors have a lease at Oracle Arena in Oakland that runs through the 2016-17 NBA season. The arena is next door to the O.co Coliseum, home of the Oakland A’s baseball team and Oakland Raiders football team. The new arena in San Francisco, which will be privately funded, would be open in time for the 2017-18 season.

Lee has openly worked to woo the Warriors back to San Francisco, where they played for nearly a decade until 1971, when they moved to Oakland. “It’s time to welcome them home,” Lee said today. He said the team’s move will create thousands of jobs and result in “enormous economic growth for the city.”

Officials in Oakland were not immediately available for comment on today’s announcement, but Oakland Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell released a statement on Monday when rumors were swirling that an announcement was imminent. “We are still in direct dialogue with the Warriors about the opportunity to build a new arena. We have always been aware that they are exploring all their options, including a San Francisco site,” Blackwell said.

(Copyright 2012 Bay City News.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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