After five months of negotiations with city officials, and an aggressive campaign by Mayor Ed Lee to lure the team across the Bay, the Golden State Warriors announced plans this morning to build a new $500 million arena and move to San Francisco.
The arena on Piers 30-32 is expected to open in 2017 and will be privately financed by Warriors ownership.
“We intend to build the most spectacular arena in the country,” said co-owner Joe Lacob at a press conference at the future arena site.
Lacob said the team’s current home of Oakland was considered for the new arena, but San Francisco is a better option because half the fan base if from San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area
“We’re very, very appreciative to the home we’ve had in Oakland the last 40 years or so,” he said. “We are the Bay Area’s basketball team is the way we look at it.”
Retail, restaurants, sports bars and public spaces will be located near the arena similar to the business that have grown alongside AT&T Park, Lacob said.
“We’re going to change this part of the Embarcadero for the city forever,” he said.
Co-owner Peter Gruber said the arena will be a “beacon” for the Warriors and a “lightning rod” to attract top talent to San Francisco. He also said technology will be integrated throughout the state-of-the-art venue.
“We have to build a digitally fit arena so the audience can be participants, not just passengers,” Gruber said.