Santa Cruz Plays Ball

The city council in Santa Cruz, Calif., is making a big push to bring an NBA development team to the region, with plans for a $2.5 million, 3,200-seat temporary arena in the works.

The Golden State Warriors’ Dakota Wizards development team currently resides in Bismarck, N.D., but officials with the team have been considering leaving behind frosty winters for a more hospitable clime by the sea.

“There’s no snow between here and Santa Cruz,” Warriors GM Larry Riley told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “I think we’ll get down there more often, and it works both ways. Their players and coaches can come up and see how we do things.”

The Warriors call Oakland’s Oracle Arena home.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the city would use $2.5 million in reserve funds to develop the arena on a parking lot near the Boardwalk and the team would take out a note for more than half the cost, the Sentinel said. The Warriors are looking to unveil the facility by the team’s season opener in November.

“The upside here is pretty substantial,” Mayor Don Lane told the paper. “It’s theoretically possible, but it’s very, very difficult. We’re going to see what we can do, I guess is the best way of putting it. We’ve been very clear to them how challenging it will be to meet their time goal.”

The building would also host concerts and other events.

The city council was scheduled to consider the proposal at press time. The city would reportedly consider constructing a permanent structure if the team was considered a success within five years.