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New Warriors Arena Promises a Suite Deal for Wealthy Fans

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- With the buzz of a few hand drills and a little help from Run TMC, the very first seats have now been installed in the future home of the Golden State Warriors.

"Just sitting down, just taking in everything, just looking at it," said former Warrior Tim Hardaway gazing across the Chase Center. "It's pretty amazing."

So what might a seat cost in this new multi-purpose palace, built primarily for basketball?

"The 18,000 seats is important because that's actually 1,500 fewer seats than we have at Oracle Arena currently," explained Warriors president Rick Welts.

Sure enough, Chase Center will have fewer seats than Oracle Arena.

At the present home of the Warriors, a fan can get in the building for a minimum price of about $90, a courtside seat will cost over $900 and the average seat costs about $230.

Assuming prices at Chase Center rise about 20 percent (which is what they did at Oracle last year) fans might find themselves with a conservative estimate for the pricing in San Francisco. But those are just the seats.

The new arena is largely focused on a different type of experience.

Many luxury areas will account for at least 1,000 of the tickets sold. Those fans will be enjoying the game from a "courtside lounge," a "club suite" or maybe what the Warriors are calling a "theater box."

So it's not really 18,000 people gathered together in a room for some basketball. It's more like 18,000 people in 20-something rooms.

Walking around these still-unfinished arenas, it's hard to overlook the amount of space dedicated to the luxury experience.

"It's a billion-dollar project. They have to grab revenue everywhere they can get it," said Don Muret, who reports on the business of sports venues for VenuesNow magazine. "That means selling suites for more than $2 million a year, on contracts that could go up to 20 years."

Generally speaking, new NBA arenas are a bit smaller and a lot nicer these days.

"I mean they're downsizing the buildings," Muret explained. "But, in turn, they're ramping up the premium amenities."

And you can probably safely assume you will be paying for that premium experience.

"Well, that's what it takes these days and that's what it has come to," Muret said. "But, along the same lines, that's why they have minor league ballparks and facilities."


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