SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Building a basketball arena on the San Francisco waterfront could cost $1 billion, an estimate Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts said is likely to grow as the team analyzes the site at Piers 30-32.

“The piers were built in a series of stages. They were not all built at the same time, so there’s a lot different components that make up the 13-acre site,” he said.

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Just rehabilitating the piers in order to begin construction will cost $120 million, twice the original estimate, because of because of piers’ poor condition, Welts said Wednesday in an editorial meeting with KCBS and KPIX 5.

“Right now it’s falling into the Bay. A lot of work has to be done to bring it back to a state where we can actually have a place that people can enjoy.”

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Welts said the growing cost has not deterred the team’s commitment to building an 18,000-seat facility in the city, despite the opposition from environmentalists and waterfront neighbors worried about noise and traffic.

He hopes to open the area in time for the 2017 season.

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