SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – It appears ongoing construction delays will keep San Francisco’s Central Subway from being completed in time for the opening of the Warriors’ new arena.
Without a direct link from downtown, fans will have find a different way to the arena.
The arena is expected to be open in time for the 2019-2020 NBA season.
Third Street is already chaotic for traffic thanks to widespread construction and vehicles coming and going from University of California at San Francisco Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
Without the Central Subway going live, some are saying it will make a bad traffic situation worse.
How much worse remains to be seen, but a 10-month delay in the multi-billion dollar Central Subway means the line will not be ready to carry thousands of fans to and from the 18,000-seat Chase Center being built in Mission Bay when the facility opens in 2019.
Things are moving slower than we planned, said San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Paul Rose.
The Central Subway is a vital link from BART and the city’s downtown to the new arena.
Thanks to delays at Chinatown station, officials won’t be able to flip the switch on the rest of the line until months after the opens.
“At this point in time, if one part of the project is not functional, the entire project will be delayed,” said Rose.
That is not good news for the Warriors.
“It’s definitely important. One of the big things here and all over the Bay Area, traffic is an issue,” said Warriors spokesman PJ Johnston. “There are a lot of people and a lot vehicles and only so many bridges and so many subways and ways to move people around.”
Muni is already looking into offering people some transit options.
“We are going to start shuttles from every major connection point with San Francisco to get people from downtown San Francisco to the arena,” said Rose.
Warrior games aren’t the only events at the Chase Center that will be affected.
“There will be a few months in there and there will likely be some sort of opening event,”” said Johnston.
The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento hosted a pair of Paul McCartney concerts last fall to christen the venue. The Chase Center will likely hold a concert or other event well before the first Warriors game.
“It’s not like there are no options, but we would much prefer to have all options,” said Johnston.
San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin was not optimistic about the impact.
“San Franciscans are generally good sports, but it is going to be a miserable ten months,” said Peskin.
“People might be frustrated that the project is delayed, but we are working extremely hard to minimize that disruption so we can get this project up and running,” said Johnston.
Whether or not crews can make up for that time and prevent a delay remains to be seen. The Warriors say they’re going to do their best to play ball with the city