OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Larger than life, the faces of the Golden State Warriors basketball team stared down from the signs outside Oracle Arena in Oakland, as crews bustled around, preparing the venue for the NBA Finals Game 1 scheduled to start at 6pm Thursday.
The Warriors team arrived back in the Bay Area overnight after the dramatic win in Houston. They carried the NBA's Western Division trophy, but with sights set on defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in what has become an epic fourth time finals matchup between the two teams.
It is a thrilling deja vu for Warriors fans who will get to begin the Finals with their home team on the home court.
Warriors flags were flying high above Oakland's city hall and on vehicles down on the street.
"I love this team. They are so Oakland," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, "It puts Oakland in such a positive spotlight, how the whole world gets to see just how beautiful the city is, its people, its sites, its nature."
Mayor Schaaf was feeling Warriors pride from head to her blue-and-gold painted toes.
The Warriors bring an economic boost too for Oakland and the region.
Early Tuesday, people lined up outside stores to gear up, getting their blue and gold to show they represent Dubnation.
People also sported shirts and caps as they walked along Oakland's Lake Merritt.
The finals also help local restaurants and bars where fans flock to watch the games or catch a bite before or after the buzzer.
"It's nice to be be home too, but really..everybody's so pumped.' said Nate Thompson of Berkeley, who said he and his family met a relative in Jack London square and saw Monday's game there.
At the Lake Chalet. television trucks were already starting to set up for NBA coverage and ESPN's special shows scheduled to be held at the restaurant on Lake Merritt, which was raising its game with Warriors flags flying and a newly designed deck.
"Something else that we get to host and be able to show the world such a beautiful lake, a beautiful town. This is Lake Chalet's fourth year being able to host ESPN, to hold the whole production " said Demarcus Murphy, the Lake Chalet's Assistant General Manager, "This is pretty awesome, so we're pretty excited."
Fans say they're excited to be celebrating the start of another shot at the championship.
'We have something to be proud besides everything else and I'm proud to be in Oakland too. For them, to cheer for them. Go Warriors!" said Clara Lopez of Oakland.
Tickets were snatched up when they went on sale Tuesday online, but Warriors staff say people should check the Warriors.com website for official resale tickets.