November 15, 2010
It's a new day in the Bay Area. After 15 years of ineffective ownership, Chris Cohan finalized his sale of the Golden State Warriors to a group headed by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber last Friday. Modest hope has replaced crippling pessimism at Oracle Arena. That might not sound like much, but it's an important improvement.
It's time to celebrate. So for Monday night's game against the Pistons, Lacob and Guber have decided to cut prices for all remaining tickets and all concessions in half. What used to cost the average family of four a fortune is now a mere luxury.
These rebates might not seem that impressive, but their symbolic value is as important as anything related to the pocketbook. Cohan spent most of his time with the Warriors hoarding revenue whenever possible and attempting to trick fans into paying high prices for a terrible product. The simple fact that Lacob and Guber have cut prices even for one night shows that they value the energy the fans bring to the arena. It won't be a regular gift to the faithful, but it's a nice peace offering.
It's possible that the new group will turn out to be terrible owners, but there's no discounting the positive effect that their presence will have in the short term. For now, it's enough that they're not Cohan, whose management style -- or lack thereof -- made the entire franchise seem in disarray, both on the court and off. If Lacob and Guber haven't done anything after a year or two, then fans should complain. So far, they're a success insofar as their arrival coincided with Cohan's departure. That's worth celebrating even if the new owners are no better than the league average.