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Back on Dec. 10, the Warriors unveiled an updated design of what will be their new San Francisco arena.
“We believe this plan is a perfect fit for Mission Bay, for San Francisco, and for the entire region,” Joe Lacob, Co-Executive Chairman and CEO of the Warriors, said in a statement. “Our goal is to not only build a world-class arena for our team and our fans, but also create a vibrant place that residents and visitors will want to enjoy, whether on game days or any other day.”
“The new Warriors sports and entertainment center is going to activate Mission Bay in new ways and create a 21st century fan experience and a premier entertainment experience for concert and convention-goers,” said Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber. “It will serve as a ‘digital’ meeting place, with state-of-the-art amenities, unbelievable sightlines and new views of the Bay.”
The Warriors were originally hoping to open their new home for the start of the 2017-18 season but that doesn't sound like a realistic option.
"Well, 2018 is the official date and I think the more likely date," Lacob told KNBR 680-AM on Wednesday morning. "We've said if we can try to get there earlier we would, but this is San Francisco (laughing). Need I say more? (laughing).
"We just tried to take as many hurdles out of the process as possible. We're not getting one dime from public funds, which is obviously unusual in sports these days.
"We're trying to take as many hurdles out of it -- we bought the land, we're doing everything we can to get this thing done. We're going very, very fast. I think it's gonna be a great arena. I really do. I think it's gonna be fantastic for the city."
The Warriors have sold out 107 straight games and Oracle Arena is widely considered the best home court environment in the NBA.
Golden State's new Mission Bay arena is slated for 18,064 seats -- 1,532 less than Oracle's 19,596 seat capacity.
Various fans and media members are already questioning whether the Warriors' new digs will have the same "vibe" as their current home in Oakland.
"I think it's a very fair question and I worry about it. I worry about it," Lacob said. "So we're very, very cognizant about it. We have an incredible vibe -- we're lucky to go watch basketball games in that environment with those fans. We have to do everything we can to keep that.
"I think a lot of our fans will stay with us. We've got a good product. The new arena, from a design standpoint, is going to feel, even though it's 18,000 seats, is going to feel very small and inimate because of the way we are designing it -- one row of luxury suites, even Oakland has two currently, so the ceiling will be lower. It's going to feel tight and exciting and all that. We're doing everything we can to maximize that vibe."
Features of the arena:
- 18,064 seat multi-purpose arena
- More than 100,000 square feet of retail space, mostly food-oriented
- 3.2 acres of plazas and public space – approximately 30% of the total site
- A 35,000 square foot public plaza on 3rd Street, larger than Union Square
- A 24,000 square foot public plaza of open space on the southeast side of the project
- A view deck with newly opened vistas to San Francisco Bay
- Approximately 580,000 square feet of office/biotech/lab space
- Approximately 950 Parking spaces (in three concealed/underground levels)
- 300 spaces of permanent bike valet parking
The Warriors’ project will also trigger the construction of a new five-and-a-half-acre waterfront park. Across Terry Francois Blvd. from the arena, the park will feature water-oriented activities and large lawn areas, which can accommodate a variety of recreational uses, similar to Marina Green.
The Warriors secured the site in Mission Bay in April, and it involves no public property and no public subsidy.
“This is perhaps the only professional sports and entertainment center in the nation that is being built entirely with private money – not just for the arena itself, but for the land,” said Warriors President and COO Rick Welts. “That reflects this team’s commitment to the Bay Area. We’ve been the Bay’s NBA team for over 50 years, and we want to be the Bay’s team for the next 50 years.”
The Mission Bay site, which is a key piece of the long-planned Mission Bay redevelopment puzzle, is well served by public transportation, and borders Muni’s Third Street Light Rail. The location is also within a few blocks of Caltrain, and BART connects via an easy underground connection to Muni, both at Embarcadero and at Powell Station once the Central Subway opens in 2018. The Mission Bay neighborhood already has more parking spaces than Oracle Arena, and a new I-280 freeway connection at Mariposa Street will land less than a block away.
Mission Bay, a former redevelopment area that became the home of UCSF’s second campus and a variety of new 21st century businesses, has been emerging as a modern urban center for the past 15 years. The Warriors’ new home will be within walking distance of several public plazas, parks, restaurants and retail corridors. AT&T Park is only a few blocks to the north; the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill and Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhoods are just to the south.
The Warriors first arrived in San Francisco from Philadelphia in 1962 and played their first nine seasons in the City by the Bay. The Warriors’ new ownership, led by Lacob and Guber, purchased the team in 2010. In 2012, the team announced plans to build a new sports and entertainment facility in San Francisco.
Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this report