A City’s Lost Identity: An Analysis of The Golden State Warriors’ Relocation from Oakland to San Francisco

Workers remove one of the "Oracle" signs from the Northside of Oakland’s Oracle Arena, former home of the Golden State Warriors, in Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 8, 2019. Source: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/03/with-warriors-gone-the-new-name-of-oracle-arena-is/ (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
Abigail Rhim explores the departure of the Golden State Warriors from Oakland to San Francisco, arguing that media discourses circulated by the team, fans, and residents of both cities following the move demonstrate the significance of the team to Oakland’s sense of place-based identity.
Ed. note: This article is part of our bi-annual, peer-reviewed Student Voices section. Click here to read the introduction and the other articles in the section.

In an emotional interview reflecting on his time at Oracle Arena in the city of Oakland, NBA’s Golden State Warriors’ home for 47 seasons, and the team’s upcoming final game at the league’s oldest stadium, player Steph Curry shared, “I have a special spot in my heart obviously for my relationship with our fanbase, with our relationship with Oakland.” Curry and the Warriors’ time in Oakland came to an end in 2014 after an impressive record consisting of 18 playoff appearances and four NBA championship victories. The team’s undeniable success helped bolster Oakland’s identity both locally and nationally as a progressing city with a beloved and successful basketball team to show for it. During the team’s final game at Oracle Arena, fans filled the stadium decked in yellow and blue while the “Roaracle,” a nickname given to the arena by some of the loudest fans, came to life that night as the community banded together for one last hurrah. Given shirts that read “the finale,” the milestone was inarguably felt by all. Facing their new reality, the Warriors then relocated just shy of 20 miles across the Bay Area to the newly built Chase Center (which reportedly cost $500 million), a multipurpose arena in the heart of San Francisco.

Originally transplanted from Philadelphia to San Francisco before moving to Oakland, the Warriors’ return to San Francisco sparked mixed emotions. Stating his intentions from the beginning, President Rick Welts explained that an elite arena that would allow the team to “compete at the highest levels economically for player talent and for fan experience in the NBA” had always been the plan. With the Warriors’ success and financial growth, along with San Francisco’s identity as the more attractive and hip city compared to Oakland, the team’s move was the most logical business step in the eyes of Welts and the team’s owners in order for the franchise to remain competitive.

As expected, this change prompted immense public outcry from the team’s fan base. Understandably, opinions were divided predominantly based on geography, depending on whether a fan was from Oakland or San Francisco. Evolving from an overlooked yet persistent local team to six-time league champions (including the year prior to the team’s relocation), the Warriors were deeply embedded in Oakland’s place identity. For Oakland, the team was more than a point of pride and joy. Rather, the Warriors were a unifying symbol that showed the world the best characteristics of being an Oaklander.

Drawing from previous research into media, sports, and cities, it is clear that, similar to other urban communities, Oakland used the Warriors to craft its identity for strategic branding purposes as well as to unite community members from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Given the long-standing socioeconomic divide and strained relationship between Oakland and San Francisco, the Warriors’ move was a harsh blow to Oaklanders. Although there is significant scholarly literature on the influence of sports teams on their cities’ identities and branding, little of this scholarship considers how those identities are affected when a team decides to leave. In this essay, I analyze the discourse surrounding the Warriors’ move via the team’s social media accounts, Oakland’s and San Francisco’s tourism sites, and Bay Area press (including a local reporter’s review of the Chase Center). I use this material to better understand how the relocation of a successful team like the Warriors affected the city of Oakland and its residents. Analyzing this discourse, I argue that the move not only harmed the city’s efforts to maintain a sense of branded identity but also dismantled the morale of Oakland’s citizens and those who supported their home team from the beginning. The unique neighboring effect caused by San Francisco’s proximity resulted in extreme consequence to sports-related identity formation where Oaklanders’ loss was all the more intense. While scholarship on media, sports, and cities has previously addressed specific cities’ relationships to individual teams in their efforts to craft a brand identity, this case study considers how Oakland and its residents were particularly harmed by way of the Warriors’ relocation to San Francisco.

Sports, Identity, and the Cities Across the Bay

Oracle “47 Seasons” banner, honoring the Warriors’ final season in Oakland

Examining the general relationships between cities and their sports teams, scholarship on sports and cities emphasizes that those relationships go well beyond a surface level partnership. To understand the ramifications of the Warriors’ departure on the city’s identity, numerous themes must be understood. These themes include cities’ desires to brand and market their communities around teams to develop place-based identities, the constant tension between residents of different socioeconomic status, and the incessant rivalry that has always endured between Oakland and San Francisco. Applying these themes to the Warriors, I argue that the team and Oakland fostered a deeply dynamic and intimate relationship embedded within the community, which contributed to the harmful implications for Oaklanders’ sense of identity when the Warriors’ connection to the community was dismantled.

First, looking at the broad theme of intangible benefits for cities that come from sports teams, many scholars argue the benefits for cities include a strong sense of identity and an overall pride for one’s community.1 Elizabeth Booksh Burns, “When the Saints Went Marching In: Social Identity in the World Champion New Orleans Saints Football Team and Its Impact on Their Host City,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues 38, no. 2 (April 2014): 148–63, https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723513499920;  Rick Eckstein and Kevin Delaney, “New Sports Stadiums, Community Self-Esteem, and Community Collective Conscience,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues 26, no. 3 (August 2002): 235–47, https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723502263002; Peter Kennedy and David Kennedy, “‘It’s the Little Details That Make up Our Identity’: Everton Supporters and Their Stadium Ballot Debate,” Soccer & Society 11, no. 5 (September 2010): 553–72, https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2010.497349. Looking at New Orleans and the monumental impact of the Saints’ success after Hurricane Katrina, Burns explains how the Superdome and the team stood as a symbol that gave “life, energy and excellence” back to the city and its people.2Burns, “When the Saints Went Marching In”, 154. These organic benefits outweigh the commonly touted economic benefits, or commodification of the sport, that are normally thrusted upon fans with claims of “enhancing their match-day experience.”3Kennedy and Kennedy, “‘It’s the Little Details That Make up Our Identity’,” 555. Although generally overlooked, these intangible effects that are so deeply intertwined among sports teams and place-based identity provide tremendous benefits to the communities that rally behind teams. This theme of identity is central to understanding the significance of the Warriors to Oakland and the harm done when the team left.

Aiding in this identity formation is the strategy to brand and market one’s city as home to a successful team like the Warriors through press, television, and social media. Many scholars have researched cities’ calculated processes to display themselves, through their teams, in positive forms.4B. Christine Green, Carla Costa, and Maureen Fitzgerald, “Marketing the Host City: Analyzing Exposure Generated By a Sport Event,” International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship 4, no. 4 (2003): 335–54; Ram Herstein and Ron Berger, “Much more than Sports: sports events as stimuli for city re‐branding,” Journal of Business Strategy, 34 No. 2 (2013): 38-44; Kennedy and Kennedy, “‘It’s the Little Details That Make up Our Identity’”; Helen Morgan Parmett and Kate Ranachan, “There Goes the Neighborhood: CenturyLink Field and the Transformation of Seattle’s Sodo Neighborhood,” Mediapolis 1, No. 5 (2016). Green, Costa and Fitzgerald found that host cities aim to “build and use icons uniquely associated with the city,” like Oakland’s Oracle Arena, in order to gain national and global recognition.5Green, Costa & Fitzgerald, “Marketing the Host City”, 347. Used as a physical structure that community members rally around and associate with the team’s success, Oracle Arena is a branding tool and identifier. With this ability to be identified, cities can then “draw more interest [including] investors…and the fans and people all over the world.”6Herstein and Berger, “Much more than Sports”, 40. The strategy of capturing attention on a large scale and associating a particular team with a physical place’s identity is something that all cities strive towards, using their sports teams and media to create fandom and garner more support for their community.

Although branding can be beneficial for identity formation, as seen in Oakland, it can also be misleading. Addressing some of the negative effects that sports teams can have on their cities, another common theme in sports stadium scholarship is the tension between lower and middle-upper class residents when discussing the benefits and burdens sports teams bring to their cities. As Morgan Parmett and Ranachan explain, the narratives of shared success and inclusion portrayed through the media can skim over how poor and working-class communities of color are often pushed out of their neighborhoods, which tends to come hand in hand with the with stadium construction.7Morgan Parmett & Ranachan, “There Goes the Neighborhood”. Additionally, although some scholars in the field would suggest that sports include the diverse group that makes up a team’s community, franchises don’t truly prove to produce benefits that “transcend class, gender, and racial differences.”8Eckstein & Delaney, “New Sports Stadiums”, 236. In fact, although Burns advocates for the Saints’ benefit to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many scholars argue that aside from mental gains, the Saints did little to help New Orleanians recover long term. That being said, although no sports franchise could truly be accessible to all, in Oakland, the team’s community fostered an identity that enabled diverse crowds and reasonably priced tickets where attendees across the socioeconomic scale could partake, as will later be reflected in Oaklanders’ reactions to the move. This rare accessibility to a successful team across socioeconomic lines made the Warriors’ move to San Francisco that much more harmful to Oaklander’s identity once that access was taken away.

Lastly, the competitive relationship between Oakland and San Francisco is essential for understanding the Warriors’ move and its effect on Oakland. Despite both cities claiming the Warriors as their own, Oakland’s continuous battle to live up to their more prosperous neighbor is crucial to understanding why Oakland’s loss of the Warriors is viewed by some as seemingly insurmountable for the city’s identity as a whole. The development of the Warrior’s stadium in Oakland was significant “because of its shock value to San Francisco,” as Oakland was always deemed the inferior neighbor.9Mitchell Schwarzer, “Oakland City Center: The Plan to Reposition Downtown within the Bay Region,” Journal of Planning History, 14, No. 2 (2015): 101. It is unsurprising that with the loss of the Warriors, the move was seen by many as just another thing that Oakland couldn’t get right in comparison to its rival neighbor, harming residents’ sense of connection to the city’s identity and brand even further.

History of Strained Relationship Between Oakland and San Francisco

Summarized  by Mike Woolson, a non-native resident of Oakland after moving from San Francisco, “Oakland’s like having a ‘really hot sibling… your sibling gets all the attention and more dates and everything seems to come easy (San Francisco) whereas you have to work harder to make yourself interesting’ yet ‘in the long run, you’ll probably end up getting to do more interesting things with more interesting people.’” This framing is common when people compare the two cities, which are located just miles apart. With varying characteristics that mark them as unique cities with distinguishing identities and demographic makeups, this strained relationship resulted in even greater harm to Oakland when the Warriors moved out. When the Warriors relocated, the team not only took away Oaklanders’ growing pride and success but, most significantly, fed into traditional past identities of being the lesser of the two cities and always failing to measure up.

Looking at Oakland, the city first “became a global innovator in containerization.”10Schwarzer, “Oakland City Center”, 89. As the smaller, more underdeveloped city compared to San Francisco, this market helped Oakland gain traction as a progressing city. As Oakland developed in the 1960s, key features like the Oracle Arena helped to boost Oakland as a possible competitor to San Francisco. However, within the same decade, white flight placed Oakland at the forefront of receiving federal aid under “Johnson’s Administration program to rebuild impoverished cities,” setting off a trend of poverty, gentrification and renovation.11Schwarzer, “Oakland City Center”, 93. On the contrary, San Francisco is promoted for its “unique built and natural environment” surrounded by both the Pacific Ocean and the mountains.12Stuart Meck and Rebecca Retzlaff, “The emergence of comprehensive urban design planning in the United States: the case of the San Francisco Urban Design Plan,” Journal of Urban Design, 23, No. 1 (2018): 95. Known as the “preferred bedroom community for Silicon Valley,” the city is familiar with excessive wealth and luxury city amenities, sparking gentrification in many of the city’s neighborhoods. This comparison in development continued over the years, as Oakland grew to be known as the “hipper, grittier sibling of San Francisco.” With the city’s center located within the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system and easy entry points to freeways, Oakland is physically accessible yet seemingly distant from San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.

Today, Oakland’s population is approximately half the size of San Francisco’s with roughly 429,082 people. Within that group, Oakland is home to a greater Black or African American community with roughly 23.6% making up the population compared to 5.2% in San Francisco. Regarding income and poverty, Oakland residents have a median household income of $68,442 while San Franciscans collect upwards of $104,552. With significant variations in diversity and income levels, the Warriors’ relocation was practically worlds away in a completely different setting. That fed into a historic rivalry where Oaklanders were already fighting to maintain their sense of identity.

On top of the two cities’ varied socioeconomic layouts and the underlying tension wrapped up in the two cities’ respective identities, the Bay Area has always shared the Warriors, who relocated from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1962 as the “San Francisco Warriors” to then settle in Oakland in 1971 after years of “disappointing financial returns.” With this flopping across the Bay, along with the strained relationship between the two cities, a sense of place and identity for locals has long been wrapped up in the Warriors and where supporters felt the team rightfully belongs. In the next section, I draw on this history of the two competing cities across the Bay and apply it to the modern dialogue surrounding the team’s move. Through varied sources from both cities, it becomes evident that Oaklanders felt a severe loss from the move and bitterness based on a long rivalry between neighbors when their team was uprooted and placed on the other side of the Bay.

Response from Warriors, San Franciscans and Oaklanders Regarding Move

  • Warriors’ Social Media

 First, looking at the Warriors’ narrative regarding their move, the team projected a strong sense of nostalgia for Oakland as their physical home via embracing the city’s branding practices as Oakland’s team. Examining video tributes from players and employees in addition to the team’s Twitter and Instagram, an underlying sense of both pride and deep-rooted connection to place was portrayed. Acknowledging this as a branding strategy, the team’s tribute videos highlighted sadness for losing their home, Oracle Arena, which was both embedded in the team and the city’s persona and success. That being said, it is clear that the Warriors’ didn’t dwell on the inevitable damage their move would bring to Oakland, placing the city at an immense risk of identity loss.

Players and prominent figures in the Warriors’ franchise perpetuated the city’s branding strategies to garner support in the move. A number of athletes, including Rick Barry, Klay Thompson and Jason Richardson, participated in a video series thanking Oaklanders for their support. These included montages of monumental wins and shots of the excited audience. Most notably, the athletes made comments including “we are leaving a building, not a city” and “no town will ever love basketball more.” Displaying a mutual need to address concerns that physical location would change Oaklanders’ relationship to the team while recognizing the city’s unique communal atmosphere surrounding the team, the players assured fans that they would never be replaced. Bob Myers, the team’s President of Operations, claimed that the Warriors’ community was “a city that embodie[d] strength in numbers.” Even his farewell tribute video focused more on the importance of place than emotional and spiritual ties. While all of these videos were an attempt to assure Oaklanders that their connection to the Warriors and their built brand would surpass the few miles across the Bay Area, they ended up highlighting the importance of the physical space over potential ways to stay connected.  Although it clearly acknowledged Oakland’s strong identity ties and an attempt to brand Oakland as a part of the new phase of Warrior pride, stressing the “people who live there, and [their] culture and spirit,”13Herstein & Berger, 2013, p. 39 the video series failed to explain how Oakland’s environment, specifically the unification across socioeconomic grounds, would survive without physical access.

Warriors team members Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson sport “The Town” jersey during the team’s final season in Oakland (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

A series of posts on the team’s general social media accounts, including Instagram and Twitter, once again reflected the team’s nostalgia, but equally displayed its lack of planning to help Oakland maintain its identity. The Instagram account was filled with photos of Oracle Arena from the outside and, more recently, the players wearing jerseys labeled “the town” as an homage to Oakland, compared to San Francisco as “the city.” On Twitter, fans and the team’s official account called Oakland “home,” thanking the community for its support. Additionally, a tribute video was posted where multiple shots of Oracle Arena were threaded throughout the video. All of the team’s posts surrounding the move highlighted the strong ties Oakland had to the Warriors, and vice versa, in order to “differentiate [itself] from competitors,” including San Francisco.14Green, Costa & Fitzgerald, “Marketing the Host City”, 336. However, with their monumental loss of the team and the lack of strategy put into maintaining the city’s ties or branding efforts, shown through both the players’ words and the team’s socials, the franchise’s efforts fell flat in recognizing the determinantal effects the move would have on Oakland’s identity. Turning to Oaklanders themselves, I examine the community’s undeniable reaction of loss of a sense of identity.

  • Oakland Response

Looking at Oaklanders’ reaction to the Warriors’ move shows an overwhelming sense of abandonment and despair. From a number of local news pieces portraying Oaklanders’ opinions to the city’s tourism site, it is clear that the locals noted their loss in identity while experiencing a freeze in time as they paused to figure out how to move past the dynasty that was once theirs. City officials and local citizens expressed an overwhelming sense of hurt. Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan stated bluntly, let’s not “pretend that this means they aren’t really moving the team out of Oakland,”  responding to the franchise’s attempts at claiming the team wasn’t really leaving. Seeing through the Warriors’ efforts to maintain Oakland’s branding strategies via vocal praise, the players’ words and social media posts did not offer any sense of identity maintenance.

Additionally, other residents worried that not only was the team moving, but the atmosphere and their accessibility to the game would no longer be feasible, particularly failing to transcend socioeconomic boundaries. Explained by one lifelong fan, “with the prices now, we have to decide if we want to go on a vacation or go to a game. We’re always going to love our Warriors, but actually being there in person has taken a back seat for us.” In addition to Oakland’s loss of identity being at the forefront of everyone’s commentary regarding the move, actual access to the new stadium was limited and the false narrative, promoted by the franchise, of San Francisco and the new stadium being an inclusive community space appeared far-fetched. Not only did community members reflect that there was now a hole in their city when it came to having a unifying force but, additionally, they saw the new stadium as an inaccessible space that could never re-harness the old Oakland identity, as many would not be able to physically access the new space in the other city their team now calls home.

The city’s tourism site displays a makeshift memorial to the team, attempting to maintain the city’s branded identity. For example, the “Visiting Oakland” still includes guides to watching the Warriors in known fan bars throughout the city and a game-day itinerary, consisting of Warrior themed murals and bars to visit pre- and post-game. Additionally, there is still a designated page for the Oracle Arena itself. Frozen in time, there is no mention of the team relocating and the site still advertises the city as the home of “three professional sports teams.” Not wanting to let go of the feeling of being a “more exciting place with a greater sense of civic pride,” Oakland struggles to move on, almost a year later, in updating their site and owning the loss of their team to San Francisco.15Burns, “When the Saints Went Marching In”, 150.  This lack of acceptance and continued branding efforts on the tourist page, along with overwhelming commentary from Oaklanders regarding accessibility, demonstrates the significant shock and longing for what once was the strong association between Oakland’s identity and the Warriors.

  • San Francisco Response

Turning to San Franciscans’ responses to the move through newspapers, the city’s main tourism site and the remarks of a local reviewer after experiencing a pre-season game, there is little acknowledgment of the hole that the move left in Oakland’s identity or much sense of change to San Francisco’s identity itself. In fact, as previously explained within sports as a constant tension among “supporters between ‘traditional/cultural conservative’ and market-led attitudes,” the strategic move on San Francisco’s part to commodify the Warriors seemed more about finances than anything relating to the city’s already defined and positive identity.16Kennedy and Kennedy, “‘It’s the Little Details That Make up Our Identity”, 554. Taking financial advantage of their new team, San Francisco’s discourse reflected no effort to bridge socio-economic divides or reconcile with Oakland to help salvage their neighboring city’s identity.

On San Francisco’s tourism site, the Warriors’ new stadium—the Chase Center—is advertised as located in “‘Thrive City’, an 11-acre neighborhood that includes restaurants and shops for a perfect pre- and post-event experience.” Rather than solely a basketball arena, the city turned Warriors’ games into a full day of activities, including walking along the water, eating and shopping. Little to do with tradition and more to do with commodities, the stadium not only offers a more modern experience but works towards “enhancing the match-day experience.”17Kennedy & Kennedy, “‘It’s the Little Details That Make up Our Identity”, 555. There is no mention of sharing the team with Oakland or guidance on how to travel to the Chase Center from across the Bay. On the contrary, there is an interactive map that includes hotel prices, focused solely on arriving and staying around the Center to immerse oneself in the new Warriors experience. This new attempt to re-brand the team focuses more on incorporating the franchise into San Francisco’s already developed environment and no recognition of Oakland’s past identity.

The New Home of the Warriors–Chase Center in San Francisco

In San Francisco-based newspaper SFGate, the Chase Center was described as a new “cultural nucleus of the region.” Including musical and theatre events, the Warriors’ new home is marketed as more than just basketball and instead as a massive event center for San Francisco. With this multi-functional space, the Center has already been met with criticism, specifically by Steph Curry’s sister who tweeted, “‘…CHASE fans, y’all gotta do better…definitely not Oracle.’” Although the creation and branding of the new Chase Center was perhaps meant to invoke “a significant ‘homely’ environment and ‘hosting’ identity” for downtown San Francisco, initial reviews lacked praise of the arena as it didn’t hold “aspirations and values…moments of defeat and joy” that Oracle Arena and Oakland provided.18Jie Xu,  “Colour in Urban Places: A case study of Leicester City Football Club Blue,” Color Research & Application, 44, No. 4 (2019): 615. This comparison highlights how a larger, more modern city like San Francisco perhaps can’t or doesn’t feel the need to fill the old shoes of Oracle Arena while already holding other significant identifiers as an established destination city on the global scale. Additionally, San Francisco displayed no attempt to help Oakland maintain ties to the Warriors or to further protect that major aspect of its identity.

Writing for the Mercury News, a local paper that covers the San Francisco Bay Area, Justice Delos Santos related his experience at the Chase Center during the team’s first pre-season game. Overall, the Center seemed to fall short in comparison to Oracle Arena. First addressing transportation, Santos noted the Center was not easily accessible. Commenting on parking, the reporter shared that the facility holds a total of 900 parking spots, only available to “players, staff and select season-ticket holders.” Additionally, he found other parking around the area to be both “expensive and inconvenient,” forcing fans to take the ferry or walk long distances, making transportation for locals, but more notably Oaklanders and other out-of-towners, an unavoidable burden both logistically and financially. San Francisco’s new game time expenses do not reflect Oakland’s identity, which was one intertwined with community and game accessibility, further perpetuating Oaklanders’ feeling of distance and loss of identity with their team.

Looking at the infrastructure of the Chase Center, Santos reported on the Center’s undeniable allure and glitzy atmosphere, including the Center’s massive Jumbotron. However, he then stressed that, compared to Oracle Arena (“what that building lacked in modernity, it made up for in soul”), the Chase Center had yet to capture anything remotely similar. Perhaps this disappointment with such a luxurious environment, compared to the Warriors’ traditional and iconic atmosphere, was due to the Chase Center’s very inaccessibility that many Oaklanders’ feared. With an increase in price and focus on commodification, San Francisco’s state of the art facility simply didn’t measure up. As Kathleen Pender noted, the new stadium prioritized luxury at the cost of inclusion like when “corporations… buy a lot of the tickets and give them to employees and customers.” As a result, San Francisco is seen to have created a new brand for the franchise while continuing to further isolate Oaklanders’ from the team.

These themes of branding, accessibility and communal ambience were repeatedly expressed when describing the Warriors in Oakland, which supports the theory that sport’s teams have the ability to create a strong sense of place-based identity. While the crowd at Oracle Arena seemed to reflect the community it was located within, being accessible to most of Oakland’s population with its “nosebleeds tickets for $18″, the Chase Center reflects a different story, charging up to “$100,000 for a personal seat license.” Although the idea of inclusivity is met with skepticism by some scholars, this rare transcendence seemingly unique to Oakland was exposed after the Warriors’ move, further proving the harm that the new inaccessibility inflicted on Oaklanders sense of place-based identity.


Looking at the this range of reactions and responses – from Warriors’ players and employees, residents of Oakland and San Francisco, city tourism sites, and local journalists — it is clear that the Warriors’ relocation from Oracle Arena to the Chase Center was met with a mix of ignorance and shock, excitement and resentment, but overwhelmingly, a sense of loss for Oaklanders. Additionally, there was no significant dialogue to understand how to help Oaklanders pick themselves up after having lost such a significant part of their identity to their neighbor across the Bay. The Warriors not only left a hole in the Oakland community but also created a deeper wound by relocating to the city’s rival neighbor that historically positioned Oakland as the lesser of the two cities.

By examining the responses of parties involved, it is clear the Warriors harmed Oakland’s identity when leaving, although only a few miles across the Bay. With this reaction, further research could be done to see if identity loss varies depending on the size of the city or the relation said abandoned city has to the new home of its team. Viewed as the Bay Area’s “second city after San Francisco,” would Oakland’s identity loss have been more or less significant if it was larger and more globally established like San Francisco?19Schwarzer, “Oakland City Center”, 90. Future research could attempt to understand the implication of sports teams moving to and from cities with varying traits like size and number of attractions outside of the relocating franchise.


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