Phil Matier: Will Changes To Warriors Waterfront Arena Make A Difference?
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—A new design for the Warriors arena on Piers 30-32 along San Francisco’s waterfront was released on Tuesday, but will the changes be enough to satisfy the concerns of the naysayers?
Among the changes are lowering the originally-planned 135-foot height, reducing the overall arena size and increasing the amount of open space around the site.
Well, it’s still an arena and arenas are inherently big; there is just no way around it. The size is what the fight will be about along with the condos, luxury hotel and shopping areas that the Warriors say they need in order to finance the construction, which they say is vital because they’re not using public money.
You see this a lot with sports facilities now; you don’t use tax money, but if you get public land (like in the Warriors’ case) you get to build on the land and then you fund that money into the arena.
It seems like with the way this last Election Day in San Francisco went with the ‘Wall on the Waterfront’ that opponents of the arena don’t even have to worry about the arena anymore. All they have to do is repeat that old argument about condos being built for another proposed 16-story residential building for across the street.
In my estimate, this will probably make it on the ballot and it depends on who gets there first. If the opponents of the arena make it there first they’ll probably get a ballot initiative or at the Board of Supervisors and make the whole argument about the condo and the hotel towers going up on public land and say that resources should be spent on affordable housing.
On the other hand, the Warriors’ polling shows that there’s still a lot of support for this NBA arena.
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