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Volume 20 No. 42
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Shift in site won’t require overhaul of Warriors’ arena design

The Golden State Warriors say no major overhaul will be required in their arena development plans after switching sites in San Francisco.

Team officials announced last week that they had moved the project to Mission Bay, a growing neighborhood two miles south of the waterfront site on Piers 30-32 initially targeted by the Warriors.

The rendering shows the new site, in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area, for the Warriors’ arena.

The club bought 12 acres in Mission Bay where it plans to privately build an 18,000-seat facility. It expects the arena to open for the 2018-19 NBA season, Warriors President Rick Welts said.

The project will require fewer regulatory approvals in Mission Bay than at the old site. The move ultimately provides a much clearer path toward completing the project, Welts said.

“This keeps us on the timeline that we hoped for at the other site, but now we’re feeling really confident we can be playing NBA games in a brand-new arena in 2018,” he said.

As the Warriors shift their focus to the new site, they keep the same arena development team intact, led by Kansas City-based sports architect David Manica and Snøhetta, an Oslo, Norway, design firm.

Consultant David Carlock, a former Houston Rockets executive principally involved in the development of Toyota Center, remains the Warriors’ project executive.

Together, they will take a fresh look at redesigning the arena’s exterior walls, Welts said. The original design featured plenty of glass to take advantage of the views to San Francisco Bay in what would have been one of the most spectacular settings in sports.

“We were in love with the arena that had been designed, but it was designed specifically for the piers and this is a different site with different opportunities,” Welts said. “We [still] have spectacular views to the bay.”

But now, instead of being right on the water, the arena will be separated from San Francisco Bay by a 5 1/2-acre green park, a development triggered by the Warriors’ project that ties into an existing Mission Bay master plan, he said.

There will be a few minor adjustments to the arena’s interior spaces, including additional access from all four sides of the facility, compared with the single entrance in the original waterfront design. In addition, an upper-level restaurant could potentially be added, project officials said.

“We think we’ve nailed it in terms of the components and [seating] products we want to have in the building,” Welts said.

Outside the arena will be 6,000 parking spaces within a short walk of the facility, an upgrade over the old site, Carlock said.

The Warriors plan to develop property next to their arena, which was their intent at the original site. The team has yet to determine whether it will have a partner in that project, Welts said.

“This [site] is entitled for office construction and probably 75,000 to 90,000 square feet of retail, mostly restaurants that will serve people attending events at the arena and the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.