The Golden State Warriors will not be playing in San Francisco anytime soon.
In fact, they are putting a hold on the project to build a new waterfront arena on Piers 30-32. The team acknowledged to Philip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle that the project will be put on hold for at least a year, and will not be built by the originally projected deadline of 2017.
This comes just days after it was reported that the cost for rebuilding the piers, which are currently dilapidated, has doubled since May of 2012 to the tune of $180 million.
The cost of the entire project is expected to exceed $1 billion. Critics have complained about various issues, from traffic to environmental impact. Others point out that the arena will just become a large playground for the rich to lavish in, while the average citizen will be priced out of tickets. The proposed new arena has become a source of fierce debate for residents of San Francisco, living in such a diverse and opinionated city.
Therefore, another hurdle that owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber will have to clear is convincing the voters of San Francisco to go along with the project. The Warriors need approval from voters on the June ballot because the proposed arena, which would be 125-feet high, would exceed the height limit of 40-feet. Last year, voters struck down a proposal from the Warriors to build luxuries condos near the arena.
Building such a spectacle in five years seemed a bit unrealistic when it was first announced, and it looks like Lacob and Guber are finally realizing how tough this will really be. The Chronicle reports that the Warriors are “in talks” to remain in Oakland and play at Oracle Arena beyond the 2016-2017 season.
However, their long-term goal remains moving across the bay.
Said Warriors President Rick Welts to The Chronicle: “It’s about getting it right, not about getting it done fast.”