SBD/May 15, 2012/Facilities

S.F. Mayor Sends Letter To Warriors, Asks Team Relocate To City In Time For '17 Season

S.F. Mayor Ed Lee is "openly calling" on the Warriors to return to the city "in time for the 2017 NBA season," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. In a letter also "signed by all 11 city supervisors, the Port Commission, San Francisco's legislative contingent and a host of business and labor leaders, Lee told the team the city would 'work with you to achieve this goal.'" Matier & Ross noted nothing "is official, but it's clear from the letter that the city is talking about a waterfront arena -- most likely on Piers 30-32." The idea would be to "get the arena built the same way the Giants' ballpark was down the street -- with private financing." By "happy coincidence for San Francisco, it also went out on the heels of state Controller John Chiang's demand that Oakland hand over $3.5 million in redevelopment money that the city had hoped to spend on planning a new sports complex that would include an arena" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/14). Warriors Exec Dir of PR Raymond Ridder said yesterday that the team "appreciates San Francisco's enthusiasm for the Warriors building a multipurpose arena, but that it is continuing its 'due diligence in exploring all potential sites in the Bay Area.'" In Oakland, Matthew Artz notes since purchasing the team two years ago, Warriors co-Owner Joe Lacob and his partners have been "up front about their desire for a more modern facility to replace Oakland's Oracle Arena, where the team has averaged near-sellout crowds." Oakland Council member Larry Reid said, "We're committed to keeping them in the city of Oakland, and we want them to be committed to staying here." Oakland Mayor Jean Quan also released a statement yesterday "emphasizing the city's plans to fight for the Warriors." The city recently "launched a $3.5 million study on a plan to transform the Coliseum complex into a sports and entertainment center with restaurants, hotels, shops and new, privately financed facilities for the A's, Raiders and Warriors" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/15).
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