The Los Angeles Lakers are California’s most-popular team, but in geographic sense, the Warriors are truly the team of the Golden State.
Since moving to California from Philadelphia in 1962, the Warriors have hosted out-of-state teams for games in San Francisco, Daly City, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, Bakersfield, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego and Fresno. In that time, they’ve been known by two names – the San Francisco Warriors and Golden State Warriors.
Now that they’re planning a move from Oakland back to San Francisco, they’re considering returning to their former name.
The franchise will keep the Warriors moniker they’ve used since they were founded in Philadelphia in 1946 but could readopt the name for which they were known when they played in San Francisco from 1962-71 — the San Francisco Warriors.
“We’re very curious what our fans think of that,” Warriors president and CEO Rick Welts told ESPN.com. “I couldn’t imagine making that decision in the very near future, but we definitely want to see what our fans prefer.”
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Although a name change would be mostly symbolic – the move is very real – it would carry weight in how the Warriors want fans to view them. Are the Warriors catering to the masses across the state or the highly concentrated wealth in San Francisco?
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer how they should proceed. They’re a business and can run it how they see fit.
But some fans already feel abandoned due to the planned move across the bay. Changing the name could exacerbate those feelings.
The Warriors have a great homecourt advantage, drawing some of the league’s loudest fans. That’s part of what makes the in-game experience appealing to the rich San Franciscans the Warriors want to court. The team would do well not to lose sight of that balance.