Are the owners of the Golden State Warriors trying to back away from their San Francisco arena plans or what? Last summer, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it would be almost impossible for an arena to get approved in time to be completed by 2017, and Warriors execs insisted there was still a chance. Ten days ago, Warriors owner Joe Lacob admitted that a 2017 date was “going to be a challenge.” Then yesterday, we got this:
The Golden State Warriors are putting their goal of opening a waterfront arena in San Francisco by 2017 on hold for a year – and maybe longer.
“It’s about getting it right, not about getting it done fast,” said Warriors President Rick Welts.
That’s almost the exact same wording that Lacob used last month (“It’s not just about getting it done. It’s about getting it done right.”), which, I’ve gotta say, is starting to sound like an attempt at spin. Arena opponents are expected to turn in petitions by today to hold a public vote in June that would require any arena plan to be approved by a public vote — which given the history of public votes in San Francisco, isn’t too likely to win approval. (An arena wouldn’t likely be approved, I mean, not that a vote to hold a vote wouldn’t win. In short: San Franciscans like voting down development projects.)
This could just be an attempt by the Warriors owners to regroup and figure out a new strategy, but we’ve seen plenty of other sports venue projects wither away like this. At the very least, this seems to mark a shift in the Warriors arena from “troubled” to “on hold”; and if you’ve ever been on hold, you know that there’s no way of telling how that will end.