The ancient Coliseum Arena was abandoned by the Warriors two years ago and has been COVID-quiet for the past 15 months, but don’t send for the wrecking ball.
The 55-year-old arena is about to spring back to life.
“We believe we are ideally suited to attract a lot of events,” said Henry Gardner, executive director of the Joint Powers Authority, which administers the Coliseum and the arena for the city of Oakland and Alameda County. “We had nary a one for the last 15 months, but already we are booking events, lots of them, big events, at the arena, and I think there are a couple of them at the stadium.”
Two Oakland development groups are vying to bring a WNBA team to the area, either an expansion team or a relocated team. The WNBA has indicated interest, but such a scenario is probably a couple of years down the road, at least.
Meanwhile, Gardner says the arena is ready to rock right now.
“People are anxious to get their shows back on the road, literally, and patrons are anxious to get back into these facilities,” Gardner said.
When the Warriors moved to San Francisco, there was talk that the Oakland arena might become a white elephant, as top arena acts and events flocked to Chase Center.
“We didn’t think so, and we think we’re going to be proved right,” Gardner said. “We have a superior location over Chase Center. You can take BART, you can take AC Transit, you can park right there and walk a few feet and you’re inside the arena.