The Golden State Warriors today formally announced their plans to build a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, a shift from the team’s original plans along the city’s waterfront.
The Warriors reached a deal with Salesforce.com to purchase a 12-acre site bounded by Third, 16th and South streets and Terry Francois Blvd.
The team, which currently plays at Oracle Arena in Oakland, had previously announced in 2012 plans for a new arena at San Francisco’s Piers 30-32, located along the waterfront between the Bay Bridge and AT&T Park, but the proposal drew opposition from neighborhood groups and environmental advocates.
Warriors officials said the new Mission Bay site will hold a privately financed 18,000-seat arena for basketball games, concerts and other events, with a planned opening date before the NBA’s 2018-19 season.
The proposal also includes construction of a new 5.5-acre waterfront park across Terry Francois Boulevard from the arena.
“We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit,” Joe Lacob, CEO of the Warriors, said in a statement.
“It is a wonderful inland site in a dynamic part of the city that is convenient for fans from all over the Bay Area,” Lacob said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The arena will border San Francisco Municipal Railway’s T-Third Street light-rail line and will also be close to Caltrain and link to BART via Muni’s Central Subway, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a statement about the Warriors’ new plans, calling it “a big win for our city.”
Lee said the new site “will provide a spectacular location and a more certain path to bring a transit-rich, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena to San Francisco. The new Mission Bay arena will generate new jobs and millions of dollars in new tax revenue for our city.”
Opponents of the waterfront arena proposal lauded the Warriors’ new plans after reports of the change came out on Monday.
Former Mayor Art Agnos said, “The Warriors have shifted to a smarter alternative because the people, not just the politicians, became involved in the process.”
Agnos has supported the No Wall on the Waterfront coalition, which gathered signatures to place a measure on the upcoming November ballot to limit building heights on the city’s waterfront.
That measure, Proposition B, could have impacted the Piers 30-32 arena plan by requiring a vote to approve any height increases above current zoning limits for waterfront development.
The inland Mission Bay site will not be subject to Proposition B.
“We’ve spent the past two years listening. We’ve learned a lot.
We’re proud of the plans we’ve put forward to date, and we’re thrilled to announce this great leap forward,” team president Rick Welts said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to engaging with the neighborhood and, ultimately, making this site ‘Warriors Ground.’ This is our path to San Francisco,” Welts said.
The Warriors are playing the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday in Oakland.
Dan McMenamin/Sasha Lekach, Bay City News