Departing Warriors owe $40 million for Oracle Arena renovations

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An arbitrator says the Golden State Warriors must pay roughly $40 million for renovations at the Oakland arena they are leaving.

The government agency that manages the Oracle Arena announced the arbitrator’s decision Monday.

The departing team said it had no obligation to continue making annual payments of about $7.5 million to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority for the arena’s renovation in 1996.

The authority uses the team’s annual payment to help pay down a $150 million, 30-year renovation bond it took out in 1996. The last payment is due in 2027. The Warriors will play home games in San Francisco next season and said the debt obligation ended when it terminated its Oakland lease.

Arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield said the team agreed to pay for the renovations in 1996.

“This was an after-the-fact attempt by the Warriors to rewrite the parties’ deal, and it would have left the people of Oakland and Alameda County holding the bag,” said Daniel Purcell, a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters, which represented the Oakland Coliseum. “We are grateful that the arbitrator saw it our way.”