Arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield has now ordered the Golden State Warriors to continue making payments on a $150 million loan that they agreed to help pay in 1996.
According to Sportsnet, the team owes around $40 million but feels that since their lease in the Oakland Oracle Arena is coming to an end, they shouldn't need to continue paying for what they're not using. The Warriors are set to leave for San Francisco at the end of the season, but it seems as if they're going to have to make their payments until 2027.
The Warriors currently cough up around seven and a half million per year for the renovations. This money helps for more than just the arena itself. It also contributes the Coliseum that's nearby and is actually the home of both the NFL's Raiders and the MBL's Athletics.
On top of this, the money is, of course, used to aid in the repayment of the thirty-year bond that, according to Oakland City Council president and Coliseum Authority vice chair, Larry Reid, the Warriors actually asked for.
Now, the team does seem like it's going to pay what they owe on the bond. This might be because they could very well have signed a contract stating that they agreed to the terms and will pay the amount. That could also be the reason the Arbitrator decided to force them to pay their share. If there'd been any evidence that they didn't ask for the renovations or agree to the terms, then they'd be off the hook.
Obviously, the team is disagreeing with this decision since they are going to have to fork out over sixty-seven million dollars. Other than that, they do feel that since the lease is being terminated, they should not have to bear the cost of an arena they can't use.
You see, a sports team, even if they say they're going to pay for something, isn't the actual owner. They are a tenant, which, technically speaking, allows them to ask for upgrades without having to pay anything for it. However, we still have to realize that the authorities needed to get the money, whether it be by raising the rent, taxes or simply by having the Warriors follow through with their agreement.