Oakland Arena, which until recently was the Warriors’ home and referred to as Oracle Arena, will host professional sports in 2020 thanks to Oakland native Marshawn Lynch.
Via an exclusive report by Dieter Kurtenbach of the Bay Area News Group, Lynch is co-founding and co-owning an indoor football team — the Oakland Panthers — who will play in the arena this spring. The team will be a member of the Indoor Football League and the 12th team to join the 11-year-old association. The Indoor League is separate from the Arena Football League, which has been around since 1986 and currently has just six teams.
For Lynch it’s an opportunity to keep football in Oakland with the Raiders leaving next season.
“My whole intention was to come back and play with (the Raiders) until they left,” Lynch told the Bay Area News Group. “(Arena football) wasn’t something I was looking at — not even a little bit. But when the opportunity presented itself — I’m a big dude on believing in timing and (stuff). This, at the time, really made sense.”
The Panthers are expected to have seven home games in 2020, and are hoping for 6,000 to 8,000 fans per game in an arena that holds 19,596.
The ownership group will make an official announcement regarding the new team in a press conference on Tuesday.