Simultaneous Warriors playoff game and Bay Bridge Series likely to cause SF traffic mayhem

The San Francisco waterfront on Third Street has been home to both the Giants and Warriors for nearly three years, but in a rare occurrence on Wednesday night, both teams will be playing with their waterfront stadiums and arenas at full capacity at the same time.

With tipoff at 7 p.m., the Warriors host the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center for Game 5 of their first-round playoff matchup. Fifteen minutes prior, the Giants and Oakland A’s will start the second of their two-game Battle of the Bay at Oracle Park.

Though the Warriors and Giants have played home games near each other since Golden State moved in down the street in October of 2019, the rivalry baseball series and closeout game at Chase Center in front of full capacity crowds — with the added A’s fanbase helping to fill Oracle Park — could cause a traffic nightmare in downtown San Francisco.

This sports armageddon has happened before — the Giants and Warriors played concurrent home games earlier this year, on Oct. 8 when the Los Angeles Lakers visited for a preseason game and the Dodgers came up north to play Game 1 of the NLDS.

Both venues were hosting full-capacity crowds, but the draw of a preseason game — even with LeBron James in town to face a familiar foe in Steph Curry and the Warriors — doesn’t match up to Wednesday’s stakes.

In 2019, when Chase Center opened, the Giants didn’t make the playoffs to create a conflict. And by the time the seasons were scheduled to overlap in April 2020, the COVID pandemic had halted all sporting events.

Curry reminisced on his days playing at Oracle Arena in Oakland during the A’s season at the neighboring Coliseum. The start of the Major League Baseball season would run into the Warriors’ playoff runs. Which made for some crowded parking lots.

“It’s always been like that going back to the Oracle days where you have the parking lot full when we come in for games,” Curry said. “The A’s would be having a game starting out the year and we’d be coming in for a playoff series. It’s a great time of year being a sports fan, for sure. And for whoever owns all these parking decks out here.”

To prepare for a fan influx, San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency and BART will be increasing service through the time both games end. Caltrain also runs a special southbound express train that departs 15 minutes after each Giants home game.

Contributed by local news sources

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