Chase Center Reviews Mostly Positive, But Venue Has A "Coldness"
The Warriors were "happy to get into their new billion dollar home" on Saturday night despite losing to the Lakers during the team's exhibition opener at Chase Center, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, "I thought it was great. Really good energy. Packed house. Crowd was fantastic. It seemed like everybody was, including the players and coaches and officials, everybody was sort of looking around" (ESPN.com, 10/6). In S.F., Ann Killion noted some details of Chase Center still "need to be completed." On Saturday, there were "still ladders up, fenced-off areas with dangling wires, [and] workers scurrying from one fix-it job to another." Chase Center is the "house [Stephen] Curry built." His presence "enhanced the Warriors' value, his aura made the team into a global brand, his popularity generated both public and political goodwill" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/7). THE ATHLETIC's Anthony Slater noted the "cheapest ticket on the secondary market for Saturday's debut game" was $131, and to get in the lower bowl, fans had to "shell out $300-plus" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/5).
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Warriors President & COO Rick Welts said of the new Chase Center, “This is the first 100% privately financed arena in decades in the NBA and it's a bad formula, I will tell you that. Don't try it anywhere else than San Francisco with this team with what's going on in the Bay Area economy right now. Without that combination of events, it would have been literally impossible to do this completely privately.” He added, "It's the first time San Francisco in its history has ever had a world-class sports and entertainment arena. It's crazy, right? There's no city half San Francisco's size that hasn't always had one of these, and it's not just basketball. It's concerts, it’s everything else.” Welts: “We actually hope that Madison Square Garden becomes known as the Chase Center of the east" (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 10/7).
UPS AND DOWNS: In San Jose, Dieter Kurtenbach wrote Chase Center is an "impressive building and a testament to what next-level perseverance, strong vision, and a ton of cold, hard cash can build." There is "not a thing functionally wrong with the place." The video screens are "informative, plentiful, and downright incredible." The seats are "smartly arranged and comfortable." However, Chase Center has "all the character of a new international airport terminal." There is a "coldness to it, and the built-in stratification of the seating only exacerbates that." There are "some nice lines and accents, but they feel forced." Inside the bowl, there is "nothing distinctive about Chase Center" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/6).
THE BIG SCREEN: In San Jose, Justice Delos Santos wrote the "most striking part of the Chase Center experience" is the 9,699-square-foot Jumbotron, as pictures and videos "don't do this electronic behemoth justice." Along with the indoor Jumbotron, Chase Center "boasts a prominent outdoor video screen, the captivating feature of a spacious outdoor area." There is "no mistaking that Chase Center is a marvelous, state-of-the-art facility." Still, there is the "matter of the 'it' factor," and Chase Center "hasn't been worn in yet, and frankly, it feels like it" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/6). Samsung partnered with the Warriors to install the Jumbotron, which is the largest centerhung main videoboard installed in a sports arena (Warriors).
REMEMBERING THE PAST: USA TODAY's Mark Medina notes Warriors players and officials alike "noticed immediately the similarities between Chase Center and Oracle Arena." Both venues have the "same court, the same lineup introductions and the same game operations." So even if the Warriors "wanted to construct a modern arena that could host 200 events per year, including concerts, political conventions and an eventual NBA All-Star game, the Warriors admittedly wanted to keep some traces of Oracle Arena." Welts said, "We all cherish the atmosphere that we’ve had there. The more we could bring the best of what Oracle had and then add a lot of experience that people couldn’t have there because of limitations of the arena" (USA TODAY, 10/7).