A day after Golden State Warriors blew out the defending NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors broke ground on its new arena and practice facility in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight emceed the groundbreaking event for the new Chase Center, which will be open at the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.Besides NBA games, the arena will host concerts, family shows and conventions.
“Today we see a culmination of our efforts,” said Rick Welts, Warriors’ president and Chief Operating Officer.
“Chase Center and the surrounding area will serve as a destination for the entire community.”
The 18,000-seat Chase Center will be privately financed at a cost of $1 billion. The center will anchor 11-acres of restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas and other amenities at the end of Third Street adjacent to AT&T park along the water front.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said that the plans for the arena were four years in the making.
“This will fill a void in San Francisco’s arts and events facilities,” said Mayor Lee. “It will provide enormous economic benefits, including thousands of new jobs and millions in new tax revenues for the city.”
The Warriors were founded in 1946 in Philadelphia. They were there until 1962, when the team moved west to San Francisco, playing games at San Francisco’s Civic Center and at the Cow Palace, before moving across the bay to the Oakland Coliseum in 1971.
Joe Lacob, a venture capitalist, bought the team in 2010 and immediately made the push to move the team to San Francisco.
“We had a vision for this six years ago when we bought the team,” said Lacob. “The city doesn’t have a venue that can hold more than 10,000 people. After the Chase Center is built, it will.”
Once the land at Mission Bay was purchased, local residents sued to stop the development from taking place.
But the Warriors ownership was able to work with groups to support their vision and won in court against the attempt to halt the development.
According to Mayor Lee, the Chase Center will provide thousands of construction jobs and thousands of other jobs related to the Center once it is completed.
As the ceremony was taking place, the Bay View based Black labor group ABU, was outside holding up signs asking: Where are the jobs?
For the next two years, the Warriors will continue to play in Oakland.
Many Bay Area residents feel the team is abandoning Oakland, which has been home to the team for the 45 years.
This isn’t the case according to Warrior coach Steve Kerr.
“I fully believe we are still the Bay Area’s team, no matter whether we’re playing in Oakland or San Jose or San Francisco,” he said.