SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – With the first public event at the new home of the Golden State Warriors set for Friday, some are worried about how thousands of attendees will get to the new arena.
In just about 24 hours, Bay Area legends Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony will take the stage for the inaugural concert at San Francisco’s Chase Center.READ MORE: San Francisco DA Boudin Files Charges Against SF Sheriff’s Deputy Accused of Sexual Assault, Threats
After years of planning, lawsuits and construction, the wait is over. Many have expressed concerns over gridlock in the area surrounding the arena.
“The traffic jam from the Warriors arena will stretch all the way from the Bay Bridge, all the way to Bayview/Hunters Point,” activist Sam Singer said on behalf of interests opposed to the arena back in July of 2015.
That was the fear when the Chase Center was just a glimmer in the Warriors’ eyes. No longer just renderings, this neighborhood is about to see what an event is like.
“We know that parking is going to be tough,” Chase Center spokesman PJ Johnston said on the eve of opening night. “We’d rather people take those other methods of transit.”
The Warriors repeated their “don’t drive” warning again Thursday. Unless drivers are already holding reserved parking spaces in the Chase Center garage, there is not going to be one for them.
Those coming from outside the city are being encouraged to take BART or Caltrain. There may be some parking about a half a mile away by Oracle Park, which is also where the temporary ferry terminal will be, eventually.READ MORE: Notorious Norteño Gang Member 'Lil Rhino' Sentenced For Carrying Out Jailhouse Attacks
“It’s going to be ready, we hope, in time for games,” Johnson said of the ferry plans. “We’re working with the city to make that happen.”
The Warriors’ real game plan is Muni and the T Line that runs out of the Embarcadero station. That is about a 20 minute trip to the Chase Center, without crowds and traffic.
For cabs and ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft, the pick-up and drop-off zones are on the Bay side of the building. That’s also where fans will find dedicated bicycle lanes and valet bike parking.
“Well, we learned with the Giants’ park, that, yeah, driving is not the best thing. And we’re definitely going to learn it very quickly here at Chase Center,” said San Francisco resident Laurie Gossy as she waited for a T train.
She is expecting a bit of a mess, but just in the near term.
“I think after a period of learning, and maybe some growing pains, I think it’s gonna be alright,” said Gossy.
One part of the Warriors $1.4 billion investment in Chase Center was the expansion of public transit access, including new trains and this longer platform right across from the building.MORE NEWS: U.S. Postal Service To Hire 1,000 People In San Francisco Bay Area
The Chase Center website features a section with an extensive list of ways to get to the arena from different parts of the Bay Area via public transportation.