Warriors See Arena Project Costs Double, With Fall '17 Opening Date Questionable
The cost to "rebuild two linked piers has risen dramatically" since the Warriors announced plans to build an 18,000-seat waterfront arena in S.F., and the franchise "will likely miss its target fall 2017 opening date," according to John Cote of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Team officials "have not publicly conceded that the arena won't be ready for the start" of the '17 season, but acknowledged that the "projected cost just to fix the crumbling piers" is now $180M. That is "roughly double the original figure" announced in May '12. The $180M figure represents solely the cost to make the 13-acre site at Piers 30-32 "suitable for an arena complex that would include stores, restaurants, a practice facility and a parking garage with terraced public plazas and greenery covering much of the structure." Warriors President & COO Rick Welts said, "On top of that, we are spending another $40 million to build a 7-acre waterfront park. The Warriors can only recoup $120 million of that, from money that comes from the project, not from the port or the city." Cote notes a "binding financial deal" between the city, which controls the piers, and the Warriors "has not been reached." Both team and city officials said that a "controversial provision" that would have allowed the Warriors to recoup a 13% rate of return on whatever portion of the $120M was not reimbursed has "been eliminated." The clause was "designed to compensate the team for its outlay" if repair costs came in under $120M. A measure "aimed at the June ballot that would require voter approval for waterfront projects to exceed set height limits" also is "complicating matters" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/31).