For NBA fans, Oracle Arena in Oakland is famous. As the best team in the NBA, the noise in the arena – nicknamed the “Roaracle” – can reach deafening levels.
Oracle, built in 1966, is the oldest arena used by an NBA team, but a $121 million renovation during the 1996-97 season brought it up to league standards and added 4,000 seats to a maximum of 19,596. The renovation also added 72 luxury suites and three exclusive clubs.
The Warriors were not the first team to play at Oracle, though. The California Seals needed to move out of the Cow Palace in San Francisco to join the National Hockey League in 1967. Though the team was awarded a spot in the NHL, it moved to Cleveland to become the Barons after the 1975-76 season.
These days, Oracle isn’t just a basketball facility. Over the years, it’s hosted a variety of events, from Elvis to the Jackson 5 to Drake.
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Five things to know
Many name changes – When it opened, it was known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. In 1997, the arena was renamed The Arena in Oakland before being renamed the Oakland Arena. The name Oakland Arena stuck for about a year, before the arena landed its title sponsor.
It’s a big draw – The Warriors have been the best team in the NBA, and their fans have come out to support them. The team has sold out all 41 regular-season games the past four seasons, and they’ve averaged more than 18,000 fans in each of the last 12 seasons.
It’s home to the Dead – The Grateful Dead have performed 66 times at Oracle Arena, making it the group’s most visited venue. Second on the list is San Francisco’s Winterland Arena with 60, but that venue closed in 1979.
Bring your ear plugs – Mont Stong, an audiologist in San Francisco, estimates that Oracle’s decibel levels reach between the 100 to 120 range. Comparably loud noises include a chain saw and a jet plane. He suggested fans wear earplugs.
Moving soon across the bay – After 48 seasons at Oracle, the Warriors will move across the San Francisco Bay to the new Chase Center for the 2019-20 season.
Oracle Arena at a glance
- Address: 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland
- Capacity: 19,596
- For more information: oraclearena.com; 510-569-212
THREE CAN’T-MISS EVENTS
- The Weeknd, Sunday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.: Mixing R&B, pop and electronic music, The Weeknd has made a name for himself since he began posting videos on his YouTube channel. Seven years later, The Weeknd has earned two Grammy Awards and nine Juno Awards.
- Warriors’ home opener, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m.: The defending NBA champions host the Houston Rockets and James Harden. The Rockets visit the Kings the following night.
- Bruno Mars, Friday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.: Known for his dynamic, retro stage performances, Bruno Mars is one of the biggest artists in the world. He’s won five Grammy Awards and has been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.