By Wilson Walker

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Touted as the most technologically advanced and luxurious arena in the country, Chase Center was shown off to the media Monday.

“Welcome to Chase Center,” Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts said to open the event. “I’ve been waiting seven years to say that. Can I say it again? Welcome to Chase Center.”

A project nearly a decade in the making, San Francisco has a new arena and the Warriors have a new home. In case that hasn’t quite sunk in yet, ‘San Francisco’ is actually spelled out on the court.

“I think – I hope – we’ve accomplished what we set out to accomplish,” Welts said of his team’s new arena. “The building is smaller 18,000 seats compared to Oracle to 19,500 seats. That’s by thoughtful design.”

That means no hockey here. This room is built for basketball and concerts. Take a tour, however, and the overwhelming impression is everything else.

Chase Center is a maze of hallways and portals – lots of portals, get used to that word – all leading to the seemingly endless number of suites, boxes, and yes, those courtside lounges which let you duck into the tunnels below. Some of these lounges may be nicer than the others, but it’s kind of hard to tell.

“There’s a lot of granite, and there’s a lot of marble,” observed San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King. “The rugs get thicker the higher you go in terms of the ticket level.”

King noted that the various lounges and suites all come with varying motifs.

“They’re going for a different kind of style moods,” King says. “You want Vegas? You’ve got that. You want mid-century? You’ve got that. I like that in the more general food courts, there’s an attempt to kind of give Bakesale Betty’s a certain local feel.”

From food, like Bakesale Betty’s and Big Nate’s BBQ, to beer, like Magnolia Brewing, the effort to add local flavor does stand out. So does the amount of art in and around the building, some of it on loan from the San Francisco MOMA.

There’s clearly no shortage of money here. The names on the walls really tell the story of who helped fund the construction of this arena, and who, in large part, it will cater to.

“You’re going to see a lot of companies that want to get the crazy box lounges like the wine bar we’re in, with the private viewing rooms,” King says of the building’s clientele. “Because they want to dazzle the people they’re bringing in to impress.”

Chase Center is set to open Sept. 6 with a concert by Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.

Comments