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Bay Area native Damian Lillard: ‘Real’ Warriors fans getting priced out

The Golden State Warriors will begin playing at their new arena in the 2019-20 NBA season. The $1 billion palace, Chase Center, is located in San Francisco, moving the Warriors out of Oakland and Oracle Arena, the team’s home since 1971.

Damian Lillard was a Warriors fan growing up in Oakland and would attend the team’s games. The Portland Trail Blazers star believes the move to the glitzy new arena will unfortunately continue a trend for the team’s “real” fans.

Lillard indicated said fans already are having a hard time attending games due to ticket price hikes prompted by the Warriors’ recent dominance, and the new arena will only make matters worse.

“They’re upset about it. It’s one of those things where success comes and you’re going to up and move,” Lillard said of the fans who may be affected by the move to Chase Center, via the Mercury News’ Mark Medina. “A lot of the real Warriors fans, a lot of times, they can’t go to the games. They can’t afford it. At that time, we were able to go to the games. Nowadays, a really good ticket is way more expensive to do everything. The people who are real Warriors fans aren’t able to get into the games.”

Demand for tickets presumably will only grow due to the allure of attending games in the Warriors’ sparkling new arena. That means fans who cannot afford expensive tickets at this point surely will have an even tougher time starting next season.

While all Warriors fans undoubtedly are loving the team’s run to four consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, winning three, they of course would cherish the opportunity to see their favorite squad in person. As Lillard notes, however, the Warriors’ success has made attending games an extremely expensive proposition.