AdviceSan Francisco

Why Moving The Warriors is Bad for The Team and San Francisco

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This Guest Post is written by Alex Doniach of The Mission Bay Alliance

The Golden State Warriors are Better than Ever … So Why Does Management Want to Move?

steph_760_2_0

Steph Curry and the GS Warriors are defendingNBA Champs and currently ranked #1 in the NBA

There’s nothing Bay Area sports fans hate more than winning. That’s the only explanation for why we keep screwing around with our winners. First came the Niners, who won a gazillion championships playing at Candlestick and were on their way to another championship run under Jim Harbaugh. So what does the team do? Fire Harbaugh and move to hot and sweaty Santa Clara, where nosebleeds cost $200 in a stadium nobody – and we mean nobody – likes. They’ve been losers ever since.

Now it’s the Golden State Warriors’ turn. They are now officially the best team in the NBA, thanks in large part to the crazy fans at the Oracle – “Roaracle” – arena in Oakland, who have a well-deserved national reputation as being the loudest, most zealous fans in the league.  So what do the new owners want to do? Screw it up, of course, by building a behemoth arena down the street from AT&T Park and directly across the street from a brand new children’s hospital in the heart of the city’s biotech district in Mission Bay.

ucsf hospital

Sick children and their families are going to love it. Total gridlock, ambulances stuck in traffic. An emergency room only 1,000 feet from the brand-new arena with plans to host 225 Warriors’ games, concerts, conventions and more a year. What’s not to like? That great East Bay fan base is sure to wither away once they get a whiff of the new ticket prices. And let’s see whether the transplanted techies in SF stick by the team, even after today’s star players get older and move on. Soon enough the Warriors will be back to the Cow Palace days, playing in front of a big empty room.

Teams aside, it’s just not a good idea to plunk a huge arena down in the middle of Mission Bay. The city likes to brag about the taxpayers not being on the hook for any arena costs. But the city’s own budget analyst proved that storyline wrong last week, saying that of the $60 million in transportation improvements needed to support the project, the arena would generate tax revenues to cover only half, leaving a gaping $29.9 million budget deficit funded by taxpayers. In total, it’s now estimated the arena will bring in a paltry $1.5 million in net annual income, barely enough money to fix all the problems the arena creates in the neighborhood.

stadium site mission bay

Mission Bay site for new Stadium. What if we built affordable housing here instead?

What’s worse, the city is rubber-stamping this project through a record-fast approval process, and not giving the public an opportunity to learn the facts and weigh in. San Francisco residents should question their Supervisor in advance of a Dec. 8 board meeting when city leaders will have a chance to vote on the project. The public deserves to know where the money is flowing – and fans deserve to know why their team is moving. A Mission Bay arena will certainly make more money for Warriors’ owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, but it will destroy the Mission Bay neighborhood and price out the team’s amazing fanbase in the process. That’s a lot to lose for a team that knows how to win.

warriors plan

Rendering of new Warriors Stadium in Mission Bay…between baseball and basketball season, there will be game traffic year round! Photo: www.nba.com/warriors/sf

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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8 Comments

  1. Superunknown
    November 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Wait a second. Of the Mission Bay Alliance? The same guys that aren’t actual residents of Mission Bay? Broke Ass Stuart, I’m disappointed.

    Mission Bay resident here, been living here more than a year now.

    – There is a heap of affordable housing being built a few blocks away thanks to prop D. Not to mention the already existing affordable housing, which is great.
    – Mission Bay DESPERATELY needs businesses moving in. It’s currently a food desert, nowhere to buy fresh food, no restaurants, nothing. Looking for a meal on a weekend/evening? Go to Dogpatch or SoMa, there is nothing in Mission Bay. This stadium and other developments will help pull them in.
    – Traffic isn’t actually that bad during Giants games. It’s entirely manageable. This is overblown.

    I only agree with one point in this article. Moving the 49ers to Santa Clara was the worst. Rename them the Santa Clara 49ers.

    • Carla
      November 18, 2015 at 10:38 am

      If it’s a food desert, then we need food and grocery stores to move in, not a stadium. The new hospital should be enough of an incentive as all those hospital employees and a least some patients will eat around there regularly.

      • Superunknown
        November 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm

        Except that hasn’t happened. The hospital has been opened for a while now, and sure there is a small cafe and a subway that are open during the day… but that’s it. Nothing open at night, nothing during weekends.
        Further development of the area (including the stadium and prop D housing developments) are what will bring in more.

  2. Earl Marty Price
    November 17, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    over 50% of us diehards did not go to Santa Clara, the Niners like the Dubs will no longer have a home field advantage; although the CEO says they are building in acoustics? What a laugh acoustics are not synergy. It is like going to Levi’s and thinking when you hear the fog horn..I mean how lame is that. No tradition so we will bring the foghorn? If the writer below thinks the reana will add to food options try going to Oracle and getting a meal there now …Korean Rice Bowl is $14, $12 for a Ban Le sandwich.,two BanLe’s and an imported beer $51 bucks. it will not be cheaper. At Levi’s the first year PSL holders sold their tix to pay on the PSL’s. The samething is already happening with Dubs season tix holders as the prices have risen the last three years and already the lower bowl audience is changing. Lacob and Gruber are smart men, intelligent men, but sometimes you can be so smart that you cannot see the forrest for the trees. The old Oakland Oaks outdrew the Dubs before the ABA folded and the Dubs crossed the Bay. Look at how our team prices., games you can get tickets for tonight cheaper then the Bulls because of the draw. Some kids that work with my two sons in the city flew to their hometown for the Dubs /Cavs games. flight and tickets made it a wash. There is not plenty of low cost housing in the city. I mean my kids make $90-100 grand a year. That is not enough to buy in the city or most of the East Bay without going to Antioch. We aer sending the folks who do the work farther and farther away from the work. Oh well progress, is progress.

    • danger
      November 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Yeah, San Francisco sure doesn’t know how to support a team. I mean, look at the poor Giants. Always playing in front of an empty house!

  3. edsully
    November 18, 2015 at 11:23 am

    The Mission Bay Alliance is a fraud. If they are so concerned about patient access to the hospital then why didn’t they speak up when the decision was made by UCSF to build the hospital next to ATT Park? They
    claim that patients trying to get to the emergency room will die due to traffic congestion cause by the arena. But when asked if they could cite just ONE example anywhere in the country where a patient died getting to a hospital due to traffic generated by a nearby sports arena they couldn’t do it. The Mission Bay Alliance is just a bunch of disgruntled UCSF executives who are just pissed off they didn’t get the land instead of the Warriors.

    • Superunknown
      November 18, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Agreed. The rich executives of the Mission Bay Alliance do not speak for the residents of Mission Bay.

  4. November 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    What about height and zoning stated: incurred cost to whom? Ed Lee, ideal mayor suggested along, Rodney Fong of planning dept (high rises essential for whom profits) of no other NAIOP! Voters supported (Prop B) which defeated proposed height increase matter of dispute Ed secondary term. Haven’t we learn, going defeat measure to appease not “Warriors” greed of realtors UCSF, disfavored stadium due traffic and retail enterprises all political entanglement!