SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A decision by the Golden State Warriors to purchase a plot of land in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, and abandon efforts to build an arena on Piers 30-32, is being applauded by many, including former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos.

Agnos led a group strongly opposed to plans by the Warriors to build an arena on The Embarcadero. He said the decision is one that he can get behind.

“I am absolutely delighted. I think it’s a great decision on the part of the Warriors. This is a far more acceptable site, that protects the waterfront, it protects the Bay, and it’s a better location for this facility,” Agnos said. “I think they’re going to be absolutely delighted with the site they have chosen.”

There are hopes the facility could be ready by 2018, something Agnos said is feasible because there is less red tape to go through.

“What they’ve done is cut the time in half with the decision to move here. It’s away from the waterfront, it does not involve any of the state and federal regulatory bodies that are there to protect the Bay, this is on land, it’s going to be a lot safer than being built on piers, and frankly, it’s going to save the taxpayers millions of dollars,” Agnos said. “Traffic is going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be a challenge wherever they go. I think it’s going to be less of a challenge here at the new site.”

The San Francisco Waterfront Alliance, a grassroots organization compromised of neighborhood activists, environmentalists and concerned citizens also applauded the move. The group, which was founded in 2013 to educate the public about waterfront development in San Francisco, was opposed to the proposed project on Piers 30-32.

“We brought our message about the problems with the Warriors proposed project to groups in every neighborhood in San Francisco and found that people across the City did not think our waterfront was the appropriate place for a basketball and entertainment arena,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, Community Relations Director of the San Francisco Waterfront Alliance.

Plans are for the new arena to be built on a 12-acre site at 3rd and 16th Streets, land that was purchased over the weekend by the Warriors for an undisclosed amount.

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