With the Golden State Warriors‘ planned $1 billion San Francisco waterfront arena continuing to go nowhere fast, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross report that the Warriors and San Francisco Giants are at least open to the idea of a Plan B:
Although the Giants’ Parking Lot A across McCovey Cove from the ballpark lacks the breathtaking dazzle of Piers 30-32, building a 17,000-seat arena there would still boost the Warriors’ overall value. It would also be a sufficiently central location for hosting the 150 events a year, in addition to basketball games, that would be needed to make the arena financially viable.
Taking the arena off Piers 30-32 – and out of what is fast becoming one of the city’s toniest neighborhoods – could also cut down on objections from nearby residents, plus ease concerns about traffic along the Embarcadero.
Those “objections from nearby residents” are important, because the Piers 30-32 plan — which includes an apartment tower on city land to help pay for the arena construction — is likely going to be subjected to a June ballot measure, and San Francisco voters have shown that they hate approving condo towers. So building an arena south of the Giants’ stadium has been kicking around for a while as an alternate solution, one that, as Matier and Ross say, “would get the job done in our lifetime and would still put them on the waterfront.”
That’s nice, but it also wouldn’t include the apartment tower that the Warriors insist is the only way to pay for this thing, leaving the team to pay for a $1 billion arena with just arena revenues, which seems a little dubious. The Parking Lot A site would require less shoring up than Piers 30-32, saving the Warriors owners potentially close to $200 million, and one unnamed “source who has worked on the project” told Matier and Ross, “It works just fine.” Still, without knowing more, it’s tough to say whether this is actually a workable plan or just a way to scare critics of the current plan into thinking that they’ll lose out entirely on the current site if they push for a ballot measure, maybe? Wait, that doesn’t make any sense — the critics want the arena plan moved off the current site. Maybe the new site does work just fine, then, though I’d still like to see some actual numbers, or at least actual people talking actually on the actual record, before passing judgment.