SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Golden State Warriors advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals is not only a win for Dub Nation, but also for the City of San Francisco.
The Warriors have homecourt advantage against the Los Angeles Lakers for the first two games of the series, with the first game tipping off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
City leaders say this is a major advantage for the tourism industry with fans of both teams coming to the city. “As soon as we won against Sacramento on Sunday, we could see people calling hotels and making reservations. Making sure they could get tickets, get the hotel taken care of and reservations at their favorite restaurants,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the San Francisco Travel Association president.
The advantage of the semifinals starting in San Francisco is that it spikes hotel occupancy.
“We get people coming in for a few days. It helps all the hotels, right? Rise and tides help bring all the ships and that helps all the other industries as well. Restaurants benefit,” said Alex Bastian, president of the Hotel Council of San Francisco.
“We are going to have decent viewing times. People can go to the game, go out afterwards. It’s a win-win,” said Laurie Thomas, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association executive director.
Thomas said restaurants suffered during the severe storms in the first months of the year. “We had a pretty brutal first quarter. So, we need some love. We need people coming out and dining. This is great for the city. We need to keep feeling like we can win,” said Thomas.
Thomas said restaurants and hotels in recent weeks have been experiencing a high after several events, and the semifinals are only going to help continue that. “I think everyone is really rooting for the Warriors, hoping this brings in an influx to the city. We just had the RSA Conference (informational technology security conference) right before SF Restaurant Week. That was so beneficial for the city, and we need it. The weather was not our friend for months,” said Thomas.
The Warriors’ postseason run also gives the city nationwide visibility as a travel destination. “This is going to be great exposure for San Francisco on national TV. When they cut away from the game, they show these beautiful images of the city so it’s a real win-win for San Francisco,” said D’Alessandro.
The city’s image has been put into question in recent months due to several national headlines revolving around crime. “There are a lot of misperceptions about what San Francisco is really about,” said D’Alessandro.
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According to D’Alessandro, when tourists come here, that illusion disappears. D’Alessandro said in a survey of 3,000 people put out by the San Francisco Travel Association last year, 92 percent said they would come back after visiting the city.
The Warriors will play Tuesday and Thursday night at Chase Center with the potential to also play games 5 and 7 at home as well.