I would highly recommend Marcus Thompson’s piece on GSW’s San Francisco PR gaffe. Marcus thinks Team Lacob could have used some humility and compassion to cool tensions with Eastbay fans. I agree, but I would have advocated an alternative method.
The message always should have been, “We’re one BART stop away, Oakland. C’mon down!” If you even thank and acknowledge Oakland fans, you’re signaling that this is a breakup, that the Warriors are turning the Bay into a moat by which to keep Eastbay hooligans shaking their fists from afar.
Except, it doesn’t have to be that way. The proposed stadium is as close to Oakland as you can possibly get while being in San Francisco. The trip from the West Oakland BART to the Embarcadero BART is seven minutes. Seven! This should be the selling point. Something to the effect of, “We’re trying to get as central in the Bay without being in the water.”
But Lacob kept talking, defending, rationalizing, promising. And then, he had to say that there are more Warriors season ticket holders from San Francisco than Oakland, a city less than half SF’s size. I’m not one to lecture people on proper PR, but: Dude, what the hell?
If you’re not a Bay Area reader, know this: It’s not just about Oakland, this is an Eastbay gripe. Folks in front of and behind the hills will be inconvenienced by this move, and it’s probably not a good idea to tout how they never mattered that much. And while season ticket holders are the most important way teams get attendance money, it’s probably not a great look to act as though they’re the only way. It sounds a bit like, “Hey locals who filled the upper bowl! My bowels have filled another bowl, feel free to eat the steaming result.”
The Eastbay region has twice the population of Oklahoma City’s metro area. Yes, the Bay Bridge folks are losing teams to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, but this is still a massive part of an intra-Bay fanbase. You don’t part with this population lightly, or at least this crassly. Not when you’re leaving five years from now. If Lacob thought the boos were bad before…