Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Golden State Warriors Moving to San Francisco: Many Promises But Far From Done Deal

It was quite a scene at Piers 30/32 on Tuesday at the Golden State Warriors press conference.  They did, in fact, announce they have intentions of building a state-of-the-art arena on that land, and they committed to the date of the 2017-18 season for which the project would be hopefully completed.

But after many cliches and pats on the back later, what do we have?

Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber made it a point that this arena is going to be special.  It is on the water with great views of the Bay Bridge, which will ultimately be the backdrop for the promised masterpiece they hope to build.
"I want everyone to understand that it can be done. And it will be done," Lacob said.
However, nothing is set in stone.  There was no new news to report, and we know the same facts we knew before -- other than the confirmation that the team does plan to move to the city it once called home.  They also confirmed that the arena will be paid for in private funding, which is more of a wait-and-see idea than anything else at this point.
"We're privately financing this arena, and we think that's important," Lacob said.
Many obstacles stand in the way of this arena potentially being built, though.  Parking may be the first thing that comes to many people's minds.  Reports are the arena will be built with room for 1,000 parking spaces, which is hardly enough for the state-of-the-art arena that they are selling to Warriors fans.

A parking garage or another way of transporting people to the arena must be in the works if this project is to fit smoothly into the busy and crowded lifestyle that the Embarcadero is sure to become.

What we did find out was that the team wants this arena to stand out.  They have great minds like Lacob and Guber at the head of this project and a go-getter mayor in Ed Lee to do it with.

Guber made that a point in his speech at the press conference.
"We have to build a digitally-fit arena," Peter Guber said.
This will be an arena that rises above the expectations if it ever gets built -- which is the main discussion at this point.

Lacob acknowledged at the press conference that the arena would need every bit of the coming five years for the arena to built, leaving us with a little doubt as to if this project can be finished in time.  The Warriors' lease with Oracle Arena expires in 2017, but if the San Francisco arena is not ready in time, the team may have no choice but to stick around Oracle Arena past the 2017 date.

However, this was a great day for the Warriors.  It was the first step in the direction of getting this franchise into playoff-form and digging themselves out of the Western Conference cellar.

While today the owners and front office personnel of the team were congratulating themselves on the intent to move to San Francisco, today also begins the work.  Again, the arena will need all five years for it to be built in time, and it will be interesting to see how the progression of the project goes forward from here.

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