Expect Warriors fans to be 'extra loud,' maybe emotional too, Oakland mayor says
Toronto, Oakland mayors engage in cheeky banter ahead of Game 3 of NBA Finals at Oracle Arena
Raptors fans should expect Golden State Warriors fans to be "extra loud" on Wednesday night because Game 3 of the NBA Finals could be one of the last that the Warriors play in Oracle Arena, says Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
In an interview on CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Schaaf told Toronto Mayor John Tory that the game is clearly a big deal for both sides, but it could be a little emotional too for the Warriors fan base. There will be plenty of passion, she said.
"In Oakland, we call it the Roaracle Arena because our fans are loud. Get ready Canada, because you are going to hear Oakland all the way across the border," Schaaf said Wednesday.
"We love this team. It's kind of an emotional series for us because the Warriors have built a new arena across the Bay in San Francisco. These are the last games that they will be playing in Oakland, where they have been for decades. I think it's going to be extra loud tonight."
Schaaf acknowledged that fans are "all a little bit nervous" about injuries sustained by the Warriors, but said: "We have got one deep bench. And you saw the performance at that last game. We still pulled up from behind and had a beautiful win."
Toronto Mayor John Tory politely scoffed at the suggestion that Raptors fans could be drowned out by loud Americans. He noted that Canadians will be at the game.
'People are pumped,' says Toronto mayor
"I should tell the mayor that there are sufficient numbers, as she knows, of Canadians living in the Bay area and they will have acquired their tickets and may have a surprising presence inside that Roaracle Arena tonight," Tory said.
"There will be a lot of Canadians down there, I'm sure, who will be rooting for the Raptors," Tory said.
Tory acknowledged there will also be plenty of cheering back in Toronto, at Jurassic Park. The outside square at the entrance to the Scotiabank Arena, which now has many satellite sites, is "quite extraordinary, by any sports league," he said.
"It means a lot," he said. "People are pumped."
Tory told Schaaf: "Be on your toes." He said Drake may be making an appearance in Oakland.
Kawhi billboard 'pretty bold,' says Oakland mayor
Schaaf added that a billboard put up in Oakland outside the Oracle Arena by New Balance, the sponsor of Kawhi Leonard, is a "pretty cheeky of you all."
"We all got a chuckle out of that. That was pretty bold," she said.
Oracle Arena, which opened in 1966, will say goodbye to the Warriors this summer because the team is scheduled to move to a new venue in San Francisco, the Chase Center, for the 2019-2020 season. Oracle Arena is believed to be the oldest arena in the NBA.
Meanwhile, the two city mayors have launched a "charity challenge."
Raptors fans are being urged to donate to the SickKids Foundation, while Warriors fans are being urged to donate to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
Tory also wagered beer, coffee, apparel and a peameal bacon sandwich, while Schaaf offered up Oakland's finest beer, coffee, hoodies and barbecue sauce.
With files from Metro Morning, Canadian Press