SBD/November 6, 2012/Facilities

S.F.'s Investment In Warriors Arena Would Be Higher Than City's Cost For AT&T Park

The proposed arena would occupy more than 15 acres on currently city-owned land
As the Warriors “seek to build their own bayfront venue a half mile north, supporters regularly draw comparisons” to AT&T Park “in hopes that it will be just as successful and face minimal opposition,” according to John Cote of the S.F. CHRONICLE. But critics of the Warriors' proposed arena are “equally quick to point out the differences between the projects to highlight what they see as flaws in the process.” AT&T Park and, "on a larger scale, the framework deal for the arena have the sports franchise paying to build the venue itself but include a substantial amount of public money for related costs.” The Warriors' plan “is bigger and more costly than what the Giants built and would cover more than 15 acres on currently city-owned property.” It includes a 17,500-seat arena on "a rebuilt 13-acre concrete pier that is slowly eroding into the bay, 105,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a practice facility, terraced public plazas that cover a 630-car parking garage, and a kayak launch.” The projected total price tag is $1B, "including ‘soft costs’ like architecture and engineering expenses," compared with about $358M for AT&T Park. The arena proposal "calls for the city to reimburse the Warriors" up to $120M to repair Piers 30-32. Additionally, the city would "retain ownership of the pier and lease it to the Warriors for 66 years.” Funds for the city to reimburse the Warriors “could come only from revenue generated by the project.” The city used a “similar tax mechanism" to reimburse the Giants $15M for the cost of building the ferry landing, waterfront promenade and other public areas, and spent $12M "readying the site for construction.” That combined $27M public expense is "less than a fourth of what the public would pay" under the Warriors arena proposal (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/4).
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