Warriors Flush Initial Arena Designs Down the Drain, Release New Renderings


Last September, the Golden State Warriors unveiled concept sketches of what they had hoped would have been their new Mission Bay, San Francisco arena, but social media was fairly quick to point out that the initial designs oddly resembled a toilet bowl.

Here’s a small reminder:

Warriors Mission Bay Arena Designs 1 (PC: SocketSite.com

Even though the Warriors will never get a second chance at a first impression — and they certainly made quite the splash with their first impression — the organization was able to regroup, revealing updated concept designs of their new “sports and entertainment center” on Wednesday.

And allow me be one of the first to say that after looking at the new renderings, the new venue seems like something that every member of DubNation will certainly be looking forward to in 2018.

Golden State Warriors New Site Plan (via warriors.com)

A few things have stayed the same, such as the plans to build what is currently referred to as a “Gatehouse” between 3rd Street and the “Main Plaza” area. The Gatehouse will likely still serve the purpose of discouraging inappropriate behavior in the area.

Plans for a “Bayfront Terrace” view deck also remain intact. The area will allow visitors to overlook the San Francisco Bay, as well as the new five-and-a-half acre waterfront park being built along Terry Francois Blvd. The park will reportedly feature many water-oriented activities and large lawn areas, similar to SF’s Marina Green.

Other than the fact the 18,000-seat arena no longer resembles a porcelain throne for which the Warriors to defend, the differences are fairly miniscule.

Golden State Warriors Mission Bay Designs 2 Main Plaza (via warriors.com, Manica Architecture, steelblue)

The Main Plaza, which is now estimated to be larger than San Francisco’s Union Square, will still feature a grassy area for families to relax in and enjoy together.

On one end of the Main Plaza located at the corner of 3rd and 16th Street will be a street tower, which will likely serve as part of the 580,000 estimated space set for office/biotech/lab purposes. Another tower will be located at the other end of the Main Plaza on the corner of 3rd and South Street.

“It will be easily accessible, state of the art, digitally fit, and second to none.” – Peter Guber

The 700-car lot in the original plan has been updated to being a 900-car lot located in a concealed/underground parking structure. Plans also indicate there will be 300 spaces set aside for bike valet parking.

The original estimate of 90,000 square feet of retail space has been upgraded to being roughly over 100,000 square feet, with much of that being reserved for food purposes. This explains why the “Market Hall” in the original concepts has been changed to “Food Hall” in the new site plan.

Lastly, the “Southeast Plaza” in the original plans has been changed to “SF Plaza” and plans to include a grassy area for the public to enjoy. This area will allow the public easy access from the arena to Bayfront Park.

Golden State Warriors Mission Bay Designs 2 Southwest (via warriors.com, Manica Architecture, steelblue)

In a press release Wednesday, Warriors CEO and Co-Executive Chairman Joe Lacob was clear in saying he wanted the site to not only be for Warriors fans to enjoy, but for all of San Francisco to appreciate, too.

"“We believe this plan is a perfect fit for Mission Bay, for San Francisco, and for the entire region,” said Lacob. “Our goal is to not only build a world-class arena for our team and our fans, but also create a vibrant place that residents and visitors will want to enjoy, whether on game days or any other day.”"

Warriors Co-Exective Chairman Peter Guber helped reaffirm this idea, adding that he wanted the site to be 21st century ultramodern.

"“The new Warriors sports and entertainment center is going to activate Mission Bay in new ways and create a 21st century fan experience and a premier entertainment experience for concert and convention-goers,” said Guber. “It will serve as a ‘digital’ meeting place, with state-of-the-art amenities, unbelievable sightlines and new views of the Bay.”"

And after reminding the public that the project is privately funded, Warriors President and COO Rick Welts said a few words on how he hoped the San Francisco arena would solidify the team’s place in the Bay Area for years to come.

"“This is perhaps the only professional sports and entertainment center in the nation that is being built entirely with private money – not just for the arena itself, but for the land,” said Warriors President and COO Rick Welts. “That reflects this team’s commitment to the Bay Area. We’ve been the Bay’s NBA team for over 50 years, and we want to be the Bay’s team for the next 50 years.”"

Golden State Warriors Mission Bay Designs 2 Southeast (via warriors.com Manica Architecture, steelblue)

Although architecture company Snøhetta is still involved in the design process, the lead architect on the project is David Manica of MANICA Architecture.

His works, which include the Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium, the Houston Rockets’ Toyota Center and the Beijing Olympic Arena, epitomize the up-to-the-minute attitude and progressive vision of the Warriors organization.

"“We’ve learned a great deal throughout this process. This new design is the culmination of excellent community input and a commitment from this franchise to create a world-class design that San Franciscans will be proud of,” Manica said. “It’s an ongoing process, and we will continue to involve the public as we move forward.”"

And while Manica may be the lead guy, the credit goes to DubNation (and the rest of the Internet) for lending a hand in producing the latest incarnation of Golden State’s dream arena.

Honestly though — if it took the Warriors brain trust and a group of some of the most renowned architectural designers a day of social media backlash to realize that their initial project designs resembled everyone’s favorite seat in the house, then they really need to come back down to earth, focus up and get their heads out of the clouds.

Or, in this case, out of the toilet.