From the start the new Golden State ownership was ambitious, wanting to build a new arena on the water in San Francisco, moving out of their current Oakland home. And from the start, critics questioned the timeline (the Warriors wanted to play there in 2017), the cost and whether the project could ever even get approved.
“It’s about getting it right, not about getting it done fast,” said Warriors President Rick Welts.
In the past 20 months, the team has produced three rough designs in an attempt to come up with one palatable to its prospective waterfront neighbors and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which must approve the deal. In the meantime, cost estimates for preparing Piers 30-32, on which the arena would sit, have doubled to $180 million.
There is also an opposition group expected to have enough signatures on a petition to force eventual plans for the arena — and surrounding residential and retail development — to be put to the voters. Opponents complain about both the height of the arena and the plans for large luxury condominiums nearby.
Getting any kind of major development approved in California is not easy, there is always some opposition. Put that development on the coast and there are a series of extra local and state hoops to jump through, ones designed to not let the California coastline become a playground of only the rich.
I wouldn’t say the plan for the new arena is dead, but the Warriors are realizing they need to step back and reassess everything to make this an eventual reality. It can’t be railroaded through.