SAN FRANCISCO – After three years of legal and environmental battles, the Golden State Warriors will bring the Chase Center to San Francisco in time for the 2019-20 NBA season.
So said PJ Johnston, media-outreach contact for the Center, in an interview with the Northern California Record, after the First District Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of the development.
Johnston said the proposed Chase Center and its surrounding district will be built on an 11-acre vacant, private-property lot that the team purchased in 2014. The Center will have 18,064 seats and will host events such as concerts, national conventions and college-basketball games.
“The new sports-and-entertainment venue will be the only privately funded sports facility in the modern era of sports to be built on private property, with no public subsidy,” he said. “The team’s investment in the project is expected to exceed $1 billion. We expect to break ground early next year; the construction phase is expected to last about two years.”
The environmental-impact assessment carried out by the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure was defended by the city attorney's office.
“We’re very pleased with the Court of Appeal’s thoughtful and comprehensive ruling,” Dennis Herrera, San Francisco city attorney, said in a news release on www.sfcityattorney.org.
“Some of California’s and the Bay Area’s best-known environmentalists support the project,” Johnston said. “Our new sports-and-entertainment venue will be LEED-certified, and the city and county of San Francisco has some of the strongest environmental requirements in the country.”
Environmental arguments put forward by opponents the Mission Bay Alliance were dashed when the panel affirmed the lower court's ruling. The project earned the California governor's designation as an “Environmental Leadership Project," according to www.therecorder.com.
Golden State's court victory, according to Johnston, “had the unanimous support of several groups and organizations, earning support from the California State Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown — both among the most pro-environment political entities in the country.”
The Warriors are tenants in Oracle Arena, which Johnston said is the oldest home court in the NBA, with the team's lease ending after the current season. He said that San Francisco is the only city among the most-popu 25 cities in the United States that doesn't have an arena with more than 12,000 seats.
The project also will create jobs and tax revenue, Johnston added.
“Organized-labor agreements with the Warriors will see the facility generating thousands of good-paying construction and permanent jobs, and more than $14 million in new tax revenue annually that will go towards vital city services and civic improvements,” he said.
The new arena will be instrumental in keeping Golden State continue to be part of the Bay Area, Johnston added.
“The Warriors moved to San Francisco in 1962 and have been the Bay Area’s NBA team for more than half a century,” he said. “This new sports-and-entertainment district will help ensure that they remain the Bay Area’s NBA team for at least another 50 years.”