Warriors arena to be named Chase Center — bank buys naming rights

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» Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:14 am
By J.K. Dineen Updated 5:57 am, Thursday, January 28, 2016

More than three years before their new arena is set to open in Mission Bay, the Golden State Warriors have reached a naming-rights deal with financial powerhouse JPMorgan Chase.

The 18,000-seat arena, set to open in time for the 2019-20 basketball season, will be called the Chase Center. Financial terms were not released, but naming-rights experts said the deal probably exceeds the high-water mark for basketball arenas, the $200 million that Barclays paid to put its name on the home of New York’s Brooklyn Nets.

While naming deals are not typically struck until a venue is well under construction, the fact that the Warriors are financing the arena privately gave the team incentive to strike the agreement sooner. Guaranteed revenue from the naming rights should give potential lenders confidence as the Warriors seek financing for the $1 billion arena.
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Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts used Salesforce’s big Dreamforce conference to unveil animation of the team’s proposed 18,500-seat arena at San Francisco's Mission Bay.
Media: San Francisco Chronicle

“To do this now was incredibly important to financing the project, an absolute cornerstone,” Warriors President Rick Welts said. “It won’t be the last deal we announce, but it will be the biggest and most important deal we’ll announce. It sets the right tone for the other discussions.”

The naming-rights agreement comes as the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of donors to UCSF, pursues two lawsuits against the arena development project. The Warriors said this month that the litigation would delay the opening of the facility for a year, from 2018 to 2019. The alliance argues that the arena will have a negative impact on the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which opened in November 2014.

Project called inevitable

That a sponsor willing to invest in the project has been lined up shows the “inevitability” of the project, Welts said. “We are just one lawsuit away from being able to put a shovel in the ground.”

The JPMorgan Chase investment is the latest win for the league-leading Warriors. The team, which has the best record in the National Basketball Association this season, has a once-in-a-generation franchise superstar in league Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry. Forbes magazine valued the Warriors this month at $1.9 billion, sixth in the NBA and more than four times the $450 million the franchise was valued at four years ago.

Chase Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau called the Warriors the “hottest team and one of the hottest brands in sports.”

“Our strategy is to have big arena assets that can work for both sports and entertainment in key markets,” she said. “If ever there were a city and a team we would aspire to, it would be San Francisco and the Warriors.”

Others with Chase name

Chase already has the naming rights to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ baseball field, Madison Square Garden (home to the New York Knicks and New York Rangers) and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows neighborhood of Queens in New York City.

The financial services company also committed $25 million over the next three years for Bay Area projects including building and renovating sports and entertainment facilities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Welts said the philanthropic commitment was a key part of the deal and showed that the two organizations are compatible in both business and community involvement.

Naming deals at sports facilities

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.: (Football: New York Jets and New York Giants) $425 million to $625 million over 25 years

AT&T Stadium: (Football: Dallas Cowboys) $400 million over 20 years

Citi Field: (Baseball: New York Mets) $400 million over 20 years

NRG Stadium: (Football: Houston Texans) $310 million over 31 years

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.: (Football: New England Patriots) $240 million over 15 years

Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara: (Football: San Francisco 49ers) $220 million over 20 years

Barclays Center: (Basketball: Brooklyn Nets) $200 million over 20 years

American Airlines Center: (Basketball: Dallas Mavericks) $195 million over 30 years

Philips Arena: (Basketball: Atlanta Hawks) $185 million over 20 years

AT&T Park: (Baseball: Giants) $50 million over 24 years

Oracle Arena, Oakland: (Basketball: Warriors) $30 million over 10 years

O.co Coliseum: (Baseball: A's; football: Raiders) $7.2 million over six years


“It’s as if it’s your house and somebody is moving into it for the next 20 years — that is the way we approached it,” said Welts. “We wanted a partner that not only was a great name brand, but a company that was going to be additive not only to the economics of the building but the experience people were going to have there.”

Bay Area market

Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was scheduled to attend Wednesday’s Warriors game at Oracle Arena against the Dallas Mavericks. In a statement, Dimon said the naming-rights deal “is a great example of our commitment to the Bay Area and how important this market is to us.”

“The Bay Area is a beacon for technology, innovation and education, and we expect that the Chase Center will become a beacon of great art, culture, sports and entertainment for this great community,” he said.

In addition to Warriors games, there are plans to have more than 200 other events, including concerts and conventions, at the Chase Center each year. The arena will be the anchor for 11 acres of restaurants, cafes, offices and plazas, along with a new 51/2-acre public waterfront park.

Lemkau said the Bay Area is an increasingly important part of all of Chase’s lines of businesses: consumer banking, commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking and wealth management.

Chase didn’t have a West Coast presence until it acquired Washington Mutual in 2008 in a deal brokered by the federal government. The company now has 1,050 branches in California, including 250 in the Bay Area. Still, the brand is not as well known on the West Coast as competitors with San Francisco roots such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, she said.

The selection of Chase might be something of a surprise in Bay Area business circles — in recent months there had been speculation the arena would be named after a San Francisco tech company like Salesforce or Uber or a legacy Bay Area name like Wells Fargo.

Chase does have a corporate presence in San Francisco: It is the anchor tenant at 560 Mission St. in the south Financial District and two years ago moved its technology division from New York to San Francisco, leasing space at 600 Harrison St.

Chase Center will be built on a vacant lot that has been slated for development since 1998. The team purchased the property at Third and 16th streets in 2014 and has spent two years participating in a public planning process. The project won unanimous approval from the Planning Commission and San Francisco Board of Supervisors last month.
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» Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:58 am
Ugh... I hate it. At least the Oracle was somewhat locally related (Oracle being a tech giants and all), and even Levi's Stadium has local meaning (though, that's stupid for other reasons), but I hate banks. This is really the first thing I don't like about this move/new stadium deal. No more Roaracle... WTF are we going to do with "The Chase Center?"
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» Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:55 pm
Do you guys think that it's better to just stay in Oakland? I liked the idea originally before we became Champs, but we've proven we can win in Oakland. Shaq actually thought we played in San Francisco all this time. But boy we are going to lose the Oracle name and all the Roaracle fans. All the memories. Oracle has become a Staple in the NBA. Is Chase Center really going to make them that much more money?

On the other hand, this isn't a bad problem to have, there could be far worse problems. I just hope that the fans in this new arena are actually loud and it isn't just the rich people buying seats.
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» Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:53 pm
Mehhh... it'll take some getting used to. A nickname will certainly help, once the fans become a little more familiar with it. Oracle Arena was never that flattering, to me, until the "Roaracle" moniker came along. Hopefully, a better mind than mine can establish something for the Chase Center. My mind only comes up with lame, non-catchy stuff, like the "Championchase Center", which looks even worse than it felt rolling off the tongue haha.
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» Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:05 am
32 wrote:Mehhh... it'll take some getting used to. A nickname will certainly help, once the fans become a little more familiar with it. Oracle Arena was never that flattering, to me, until the "Roaracle" moniker came along. Hopefully, a better mind than mine can establish something for the Chase Center. My mind only comes up with lame, non-catchy stuff, like the "Championchase Center", which looks even worse than it felt rolling off the tongue haha.



The Record Chase Center
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» Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:17 pm
Stairway Man wrote:
32 wrote:Mehhh... it'll take some getting used to. A nickname will certainly help, once the fans become a little more familiar with it. Oracle Arena was never that flattering, to me, until the "Roaracle" moniker came along. Hopefully, a better mind than mine can establish something for the Chase Center. My mind only comes up with lame, non-catchy stuff, like the "Championchase Center", which looks even worse than it felt rolling off the tongue haha.



The Record Chase Center

BINGO. I like it! :D

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