Pending approval by the Santa Cruz City Council, the Golden State Warriors’ developmental team has agreed to extend its lease at the downtown Kaiser Permanente Arena through September 2026, with an early termination option beginning in September 2025 and two one-year extension options.
Update: Santa Cruz City Council voted 7-0 to approve the lease extension.
The existing agreement keeping the Santa Cruz Warriors at the downtown Kaiser Permanente Arena expires on Sunday, and Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday will vote on whether to keep the National Basketball Association’s local presence here for at least the next two seasons.
Pending the city council’s approval, the Golden State Warriors’ developmental team has agreed to extend its arena lease through September 2026, with an early termination option beginning in September 2025 and two one-year extension options. The Santa Cruz Warriors have played locally since 2012.
The team has been pushing to leave Kaiser for something more permanent. Chris Murphy, the team’s president, did not respond to Lookout’s request for comment, but a city staff report on the lease extension emphasizes that the franchise has “received considerable interest in relocating the Santa Cruz Warriors to a more permanent home elsewhere in the Bay Area.”
However, the Warriors and local officials have expressed a desire to keep the team in Santa Cruz, and have, for over a year, been negotiating the development of a permanent Warriors arena as the heart of a downtown expansion project. Targeted for the area south of Laurel Street where the Warriors arena currently sits, the project aims to essentially overhaul the existing neighborhood for a new pedestrian- and bike-oriented section of downtown, with 12-story mixed-use residential buildings with 1,600 units.
Outside of the lease agreement and a recent city survey on what residents want to see in the possible downtown expansion, there have been no formal updates on the project or the negotiations between the city and Warriors.
With the city council’s approval of the lease extension pending, the Santa Cruz Warriors are scheduled to open their season at Kaiser Permanente Arena against the Stockton Kings on Nov. 10.
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