Simultaneous Warriors playoff game and Bay Bridge series may cause 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 pm, 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.

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