Apr 22, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
From the moment Golden State owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber stood on a pier overlooking San Francisco Bay and spoke dreamingly of an arena on a pier, there were skeptics. And opponents. Coastal development in California is brutal — the city and state both get a say, and in this case the location brought in both the Army Corps of Engineers and the port with rustication. And that’s not to mention lawsuits blocking the plan from environmental groups and nearby homeowners. It wasn’t impossible to get it done, but it’s a decade of approvals alone and that’s a heck of a fight. Plus a lot of lawyer fees.
The Warriors have abandoned that plan and announced they have purchased 12 acres in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, where the team intends to build a new state-of-the-art arena. They purchased the land from salesforce.com at an undisclosed price.
Any major development has hurdles and this new plan is no different, but there are far fewer now in the way. The plan is to have this new arena open for the 2018-19 season, Lacob told CSNBayArea.com.
“We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit,” Lacob said in a released 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. We are buying private property, but the city will also get a new 5 ½ – acre waterfront park. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The Mission Bay district is one of the fast growing areas of the city, one with good mass transit and freeway access. Plus it’s not in the most congested, already-clogged parts of the city.
There will still be opposition. There will still be outcries and a fight from Oakland which will want to keep the team.
However Lacob and Guber have said since Day 1 they want to move the team into San Francisco (and win a lot of games, they are some of the most hands-on owners in the NBA, for better and worse). Now the pair have a much cleaner path to that dream.
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