SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The Golden State Warriors formerly announced plan to build their new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood on Tuesday morning and Rick Welts, the team’s president and chief of operations, said that while the new site lacks a view of the Bay, the new site has everything needed.
The Warriors reached a deal with Salesforce.com to purchase a 12-acre site bounded by Third, 16th and South streets and Terry Francois Blvd.
The area referred to as the “inland site” sits about a block from the Bay. Fenced in and overgrown with weeds, the plot is zoned for office space but will also include about 75,000 square feet of retail—mostly restaurants – serving Warriors fans and people going to concerts and other events at the 18,0000-seat arena.
Warriors President Rick Welts visited the KCBS on Tuesday morning saying it already has a Muni T-line stop right in front. “In addition to that, we have much better access than we did at the other site from the South Bay—on I-280, which has an off-ramp that will land about two blocks from the arena,” he said.
Golden State Warriors Video: Mission Bay Arena
“The Central Subway is kind of the luckiest component of this, from a transportation standpoint. When that opens in 2018, East Bay residents in particular, can take BART to Powell Street Station, never leave the stations, transfer to the Central Station and take that directly to our site.”
Welts said the shift in plans also gives the Warriors stability since they would own the land.
Listen To Entire KCBS Interview With Rick Welts:
The team was originally hoping to build a new arena on San Francisco’s waterfront but those plans faced opposition from critics concerned about traffic, environmental issues and blocked views of the Bay Bridge.
The proposal also includes construction of a new 5.5-acre waterfront park across Terry Francois Boulevard from the arena.
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“We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit,” Joe Lacob, CEO of the Warriors, said in a 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,” Lacob said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Opponents of the waterfront arena proposal lauded the Warriors’ new plans after reports of the change came out on Monday.
Former Mayor Art Agnos said, “The Warriors have shifted to a smarter alternative because the people, not just the politicians, became involved in the process.”
KCBS, KPIX 5 and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Phil Matier said that, while new stadium is much less contentious politically, “it’s not going to come cheap.”
“The Warriors have managed to find a place that is as expensive as or even more expensive than building on Piers 30-32. But the keyword here is: build,” he said.
“By moving this off the waterfront and one block away and south of the ballpark, I would say they have eliminated about 80 to 90 percent what appeared to be some pretty big political hurdles that would both cost time and money down the line.”