Golden State Warriors Bump Debt Dispute to State Supreme Court

The NBA has had a strange year. After seeing the lowest TV ratings in years and not being able to bring in fans to watch the games due to Covid-19, money is pretty tight. And when money gets tight, people start shooting desperation 3-point shots in the form of legal disputes.  

So after losing in lower courts, the Golden State Warriors are taking their dispute with the Coliseum Authority over Oakland arena debt to the state Supreme Court. The legal battle centers around outstanding debt — nearly $50 million — from renovations in 1996 at the arena, formerly known as Oracle Arena.

The Warriors made annual payments on the debt while playing in Oakland, but the team argues it was no longer responsible for payments once the Warriors moved to San Francisco last year. Leaders of the Coliseum Authority, which is operated by the city of Oakland and Alameda County, contend a license agreement made it clear the Warriors must pay off the debt.

An arbitrator and a California Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Coliseum Authority, concluding the Warriors must pay up. In August, a state appeals court panel reaffirmed that decision. Now, the Warriors are asking the state supreme court to take on the matter.

“Our position has always been that we will pay what the courts determine we owe,” said Warriors spokesman PJ Johnston. “However, the evidence is clear that the Authority drafted the contract and knew that it would not require the Warriors to pay debt service under these circumstances. We remain confident that we are right, and we are always willing to fight when we believe we are right.”

“This is despicable behavior by billionaires trying to harm Oakland taxpayers,” Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said. “The arbitrator and the court ruled they were wrong and we were right — but they still seek to refuse to pay their obligations.”

Is the team right to refuse to pay?  Or does the venue have a better case?  Well, the CA Supreme Court will be taking a good look at this one and settling the score once and for all. Disputes are EVERYWHERE. And when those nasty things including contract issues, landlord/tenant matters, nuisance ADA claims and even collections threaten YOU and YOUR business, call in the good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind! 

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