Warriors tweak proposed arena design again, make no one happy

With San Francisco waterfront activists threatening a public ballot measure on their proposed $1 billion arena project, the Golden State Warriors owners have trimmed their design a bit to assuage some concerns that it would be a great hulking eyesore that would take up precious public space on the bay. Design 3.0 (their name, not mine) would include a slightly smaller roof, a slightly smaller seating capacity, more public green space, and “a gently sloping shop-lined path with a switchback,” because who doesn’t like switchbacks?

Depending on your perspective, this is either an indication that public opposition to the project is forcing the Warriors to work toward a compromise, or, what’s that you say, former mayor Art Agnos?

“It just sounds like window dressing,” Agnos said of the design changes. “The bottom line is this is a mega real estate project.”

Yeah, this sucker is still headed for a public vote. The only question is whether the San Francisco public’s legendary disdain for large construction projects can be overcome by the universal human love for switchbacks.

4 comments on “Warriors tweak proposed arena design again, make no one happy

  1. Eh, the San Francisco public voted to approve a large waterfront football stadium 15 years ago. I can see them approving this as well. When it comes to sporting venues, particularly ones they don’t have to pay for beyond the pier repair they’d have to do anyway, the city hasn’t been too averse to the idea.

  2. Hahaha! waterfront football stadium, I dont think any one in SF considers hunters point as a waterfront. Technically you are correct…but no one cares about hunters point’s wanter front property.

  3. A large issue is projects which would violate height limits for waterfront construction.
    It’s not just the arena, it’s the height of the condos and hotel which would go with it – the team says they need the condos and hotel to pay for the arena.
    Last week’s election saw defeat of a proposed condominium complex which violated height limits.

  4. Neil – I’m not a crazed fan or lover of all new arenas and stadiums. Quite the opposite. I read your book in about 2 hours and it’s reinforced a lot of what I’ve come to believe with any building deal. However, this is a GREAT deal for the City.

    From the north, Pier 41 is of the biggest tourist attractions on the west coast, the Ferry Building is a treasure to tourists and locals alike, the Bay Bridge is majestic, AT&T Park is among the crown jewels of stadiums (one in which the tenants, not the public, hold most of the debt), and if you continue south from there (on a somewhat new MUNI extension) you get to a sparkling new UCSF campus. Sprinkled in between all these, save for the new Exploratorium and some nice restaurants, are mostly dilapidated or dilapidating crappy-looking piers. The City can’t afford to pay to restore them, and they get worse and worse every year. They’re an embarrassment. This will check 2 off the list.

    I won’t even get into the benefits of having a team in downtown SF vs. the suburbs (Oakland and Candlestick would qualify). Ask the Giants how that move went. I love the NBA. I’m not AFRAID of Oakland, as I’ve gone to shows at ohGod.com arena and BART/walk around other parts of Oakland I’m sure many Warriors fans wouldn’t. I’ve gone to 0 Warriors games in 7 years. Looking at my wall, I’ve been to about 50 Giants games. WHY? Because it’s nice to finish work, walk down the street, pass (or enjoy) some good restaurants and bars, and go to a game. Then hop on the public transit home. Go Braves!!

    Speaking of shows, if someone in San Francisco wants to go see Jay-Z, Disney on Ice, Lady Gaga, Sting, One Direction or any act that would play in front of 18,000 or so folks, they have to go to San Jose, Oakland or beyond to do it. The facility would serve a lot more than Warriors fans.

    As for the NIMBYs (pretty much the only ones against the project) – it’s all about their views (of the bridge/bay). They can say it’s about the traffic, but they bought their homes (or investments, more likely) in the financial district of San Francisco, not the cornfield district of eastern Iowa. The land around the proposed arena is as friendly to public transit as just about any spot you could pick in a dense, urban core. The arena WILL pass in spite of them. The 8 Washington development failed because wealthy folks that were going to lose THEIR views got the backing of the least productive mayor in a century and paid enough in a boring election year to defeat the measures. That won’t be the case here because SF knows a good deal. SF told the Giants they could head to Tampa/St. Pete if they wanted to. They came back a few years later and built the best park around with their own money. Good deal. They told the 49ers “$100 million – take it or leave it.” They left it, and will leave Santa Clara with the bill. Good deal. SF goes slow and does it right it right. This arena is right!