The Golden State Warriors, with cost estimates to prepare a waterfront site skyrocketing and approval from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission still not forthcoming, have put plans for their proposed new arena on hold.
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Warriors are prepared to put off the opening of the proposed new building for a year, perhaps longer.
“It’s about getting it done right, not about getting it done fast,” Warriors president Rick Welts said.
The team has presented three designs in the last 20 months, according to the report, none of which have been to the commission’s satisfaction.
Meanwhile, estimates for preparing Piers 30-32 for the arena have gone from $90 million to $180 million, according to the report.
The Warriors are in talks to remain at Oakland’s Oracle Arena beyond the 2016-17 season while arena opponents have been gathering signatures for a ballot proposal that would require any developer—including the Warriors—to get voter approval for structures exceeding the current height limits for buildings along the waterfront.
The ballot proposal could not only throw a monkey wrench in plans for the Warriors to place luxury condos and a hotel across from an arena, but also plans the San Francisco Giants have for a high-rise development near AT&T Park.
Any proposed development anywhere will always have opposition. That’s just a given in today’s political climate. And there are also those who would prefer the Warriors remain in Oakland, their full-time home since 1971.
Oracle Arena was renovated in 1996-97 and has a reputation for being one of the loudest home courts in the NBA. So, as is almost always the case, the plan for a new arena isn’t so much about problems with the existing building as it is about the ongoing desire to turn gigantic stacks of cash into even more gigantic stacks of cash.
In other words, this isn’t the O.co Coliseum with raw sewage flooding the lower levels we’re talking about here.
Oracle Arena is the largest of the three NBA arenas in California in terms of seating capacity at 19,596, and the Warriors are averaging 19,596 in attendance through 22 home dates this season—100 percent of capacity. Golden State is one of seven NBA teams at 100 percent or more capacity this season. The others are the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
For what it’s worth, the Sacramento Kings are 16th, averaging 16,031 fans, 92.6 percent of capacity at Sleep Train Arena. The Detroit Pistons rank last in percent of capacity this season, drawing 14,667 fans per game to The Palace of Auburn Hills, just 66.4 percent of capacity.