SBD/January 24, 2014/Facilities

Lacob Still Hoping New Warriors Arena Is Ready For '17-18, But Calls It A Challenge

Lacob acknowledged the project could be delayed as discussions continue
Warriors co-Owner Joe Lacob said getting the team's new waterfront arena in S.F. built in time for the '17-18 season is still possible if everything "worked perfectly," but acknowledged that time frame is "going to be a challenge." Appearing on KNBR-AM's "Gary & Larry" program on Thursday, Lacob said, "We're going to try like hell to get it approved. If it has to go to a public vote -- we haven’t made that decision yet -- it'll go to a public vote and people will speak. ... We're trying, we're going to keep trying. But it could be delayed because the truth is we need to do it right." He noted team officials have "listened to everybody" with opinions on the project and said, "We're trying to make it so it’s something everybody (can agree on)." Lacob: "There is certainly a group of people, led by (former S.F. Mayor) Art Agnos as their spokesperson apparently, who for whatever reason don’t think an arena should be built on that waterfront site. There are some people who don’t want any progress on the waterfront, any building, and there are other issues that we have now, that we didn't expect, that have come into the fray ... and made for a bigger discussion." He called those obstacles "disappointing" because the Warriors are "trying to do something that actually is great for the city." Lacob: "You're not going to make everybody happy. It's all about the majority and what is good for the majority of people in San Francisco and in the Bay Area. And it's not just about basketball."

WNBA TEAM IN THE FUTURE? Lacob also stated it is a "dream of ours" to acquire a WNBA franchise, as it could be "very successful in the Bay Area." He said, "We're not in a rush to do it because we're focused on our primary job right now, which is the Warriors. ... But if the opportunity came along, we would definitely do it. We have shown that we can do a sport that isn't a major, giant sport and do it well in Santa Cruz with the D-League." Lacob noted the WNBA is "getting more and more successful" and "most of the teams actually make a little bit of money or break even." Lacob has been linked to the L.A. Sparks, which is searching for a new owner. He said, "I don’t know whether we're going to get this team. It's reported we have interest. It's true, but if it stays in L.A. which is where they are today, that's also fine. We'll eventually do it" ("Gary & Larry," KNBR-AM, 1/23).
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