SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Golden State Warriors announced Tuesday that team officials will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Warriors’ new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood January 17.
The team released a statement Tuesday afternoon that said the event will take place at 12 p.m. Tuesday, January 17 2017, at the site of the future arena at 300 South Street.
The Chase Center is scheduled to open for the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. In addition to being the Warriors new home, the arena will host a variety of events including concerts, family shows and conventions.
The 18,000-seat facility will anchor a district of 11 acres of restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas and other amenities the neighborhood currently lacks, along with a new five-and-a half-acre public waterfront park.
“We have been looking forward to this day since we first had the vision of building a privately financed state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco are excited for what this will bring to the city of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area community,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts in a statement. “Chase Center and the surrounding area will serve as a destination for the entire community and we will continue to work to make sure it is the best experience possible for everyone to enjoy NBA basketball, concerts, family shows, conventions and more.”
In addition to Welts, Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber, head coach Steve Kerr, forward Kevin Durant and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be in attendance for the ceremony.
“This new venue will not only ensure our beloved Warriors remain in the Bay Area, but it will fill a void in San Francisco’s portfolio of arts and events facilities,” said Lee was quoted as saying in the press release.
“With all of the court fight behind us, we are looking forward to breaking ground,” Warriors representative P.J. Johnston told KPIX 4. “It’s time to actually turn some dirt and start hiring up those construction jobs and start building.”
Johnston said the new arena will bring major financial benefits.
“This is going to be a union project with thousands of good paying local jobs with local hires,” said Johnston. “It’s going to be great for the Bay Area. It’s going to be great for the city as well as a destination for people from all over the Bay Area.
But one place the San Francisco arena is not good news for is Oakland, which has been home for the team since the 1970’s.
“[It’s] devastating. We have supported them in the East Bay and it is very unfortunate that they are moving across the Bay,” said Chris Dobbins of the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Authority.
But these days, sports are international business and San Francisco is a worldwide city with much greater name recognition than Oakland
“They want to control their own destiny,” said Johnston.
Unlike other stadiums and arenas, the Warriors are paying for the entire arena project.
“This will be the first privately financed sports arena or stadium on private property in the modern era of sports,” explained Johnston.
That could translate to some pretty hefty ticket prices for Warrior fans once the arena is completed.
The arena has not been without its opponents.
The Mission Bay Alliance, an organization that has been waging a legal battle to stop the arena project, claims an environmental impact report on the project didn’t adequately analyze a range of issues, including the effect of traffic on emergency access to the nearby University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.
The alliance opposing it is made up primarily of UCSF donors, doctors, faculty members and stakeholders, who claim the arena could create traffic gridlock blocking access to the university’s hospital.