Phil Matier: Warriors’ SF Waterfront Arena Losing Momentum After Election

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — From 8 Washington to the proposed Warriors arena, the battle over the future of San Francisco’s waterfront is heating up.

The failure of Propositions B and C brings up the issue for the future of the city’s waterfront. Up until now, it’s been, “build, build, build.” But now, we are hear 8 Washington referred to as “Wall On The Waterfront.”

The Warriors arena would be more than just a wall; it would be an entirely new neighborhood.

“You’ve got the serious problem associated with people who have no personal interest in whether or not the Warriors are here or not. You’ve got to somehow motivate them to participate,” Former Mayor Willie Brown said.

Is there a difference, however, between getting people to vote for a condo project for wealthy people—which was how 8 Washington was seen—and building an arena where we can see our basketball team play?

“It’s a different issue but you would think,” Brown said. “I did the ballpark for the 49ers and, believe me, it was equally as hard.”

When Pac Bell Park—as it was called back then—went though, it was a slam dunk. A coalition was assembled and it sailed through because no public money was being used. With the proposed 49er stadium it ran neck and neck.

“We didn’t have the same previous foundation. There had been at least three defeats of a ballpark for the Giants. We knew exactly why, therefore, when we ran the last time, we had all of that put to bed. We had nothing put to bed on the 49er stadium. We had to do it from scratch like the Warriors are trying to do it now,” Brown said.

It will be a challenge because the Warriors arena is such a huge project; there are environmental concerns and they want to be up and running for the 2017 season.

So the question is: will this go to the ballot?

“It’ll have to go to the ballot, sure, against any possibility of a legal disruption of 2017,” said Brown.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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