Warriors set to break ground on their new San Francisco arena January 17th

4 January 2017

The Warriors’ long-planned San Francisco Arena — the Chase Center — finally has a construction date. On Tuesday afternoon, the franchise announced a groundbreaking ceremony for January 17th, which will be attended by Joe Lacob, Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant, among others.

Barring any setbacks, the arena is scheduled to open at the start of the 2019-20 NBA season in the Mission Bay district of San Francisco.

“We have been looking forward to this day since we first had the vision of building a privately financed state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco are excited for what this will bring to the city of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area community,” Warriors president Rick Welts said in a statement. “Chase Center and the surrounding area will serve as a destination for the entire community and we will continue to work to make sure it is the best experience possible for everyone to enjoy NBA basketball, concerts, family shows, conventions and more.”

Plans for a San Francisco arena have been in the works since the new ownership group, led by Joe Lacob, took over in 2010. But there have been various setbacks along the way. The original location, along piers 30-32, was nixed after some environmental concerns and regulatory hurdles.

The Warriors abandoned that original plan and purchased the Mission Bay site from SalesForce.com in 2014, hoping to have the privately-funded arena built before the 2017 season. But along the way, they hit some legal snags, delaying construction.

Most notably, the Mission Bay Alliance — made up of UCSF donors, stakeholders and faculty — opposed the construction. Their main complaint is that the arena will disrupt the flow of traffic for emergency vehicles around the hospital in that area.

Through the city, the Warriors were required to complete a California Environment Quality Act report. In it, the city’s plan to build a new central subway — also scheduled to open in 2019 — helped alleviate traffic concerns. It would have a stop at the arena’s location. The CEQA was approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

The Mission Bay Alliance lawsuit challenged elements within the CEQA. In July, a judge ruled in the Warriors’ favor. Then last month, the court of appeals upheld the ruling. It was the last hurdle, allowing the groundbreaking on January 17th to take place.

“This new venue will not only ensure our beloved Warriors remain in the Bay Area, but it will fill a void in San Francisco’s portfolio of arts and events facilities,” San Francisco mayor Ed Lee said in a press release. “It will provide enormous economic benefits, including thousands of new jobs and millions in new tax revenues for The City. And the Warriors are doing it the right way — financing this arena entirely without public funding.”