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tommaso
Oct 14, 2009, 12:19 AM
Rumormongering: Warriors Arena Promises an Epic Shitshow

Tuesday, October 13, 2009, by Andy J. Wang

2009_10_arena.jpg

An unsourced claim by a sports columnist about the absentee owner of Oakland basketball team Golden State Warriors has a juicy rumor that involves the Warriors' return to San Francisco. Behold:

The bid of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been out there, but details of another intriguing offer to buy the Warriors have emerged, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. There is a well-moneyed and politically connected Bay Area group that has approached (owner Chris) Cohan about purchasing the team and building a privately funded arena in downtown San Francisco. What’s more, the group has already had third parties call several well-respected NBA front-office executives about running the team.

An arena. In "downtown San Francisco." It sounds like it's only in its embryonic stages, rumor as it is, but already our spines tingle with the prospect of protests and mouth-foaming. Just one question: where?!
· For Warriors, turmoil starts with the boss [Yahoo! Sports, via Curbed Inbox]

http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2009/10/13/rumormongering_warriors_arena_promises_an_epic_shitshow.php

FrancoRey
Oct 14, 2009, 1:55 AM
Lock please. ;)

HarshLiving
Oct 14, 2009, 2:03 AM
Cohen is a bad owner.
A arena in SF sounds like a good idea, but where?

JDRCRASH
Oct 14, 2009, 5:20 PM
Maybe somewhere in Mission Bay. Lots of space there.

WildCowboy
Oct 14, 2009, 8:23 PM
Maybe somewhere in Mission Bay. Lots of space there.

Not really...the redevelopment plans has long been formalized, and I can't imagine it can be easily changed at this point. Developers have all sorts of projects in the pipeline for those areas, and I don't think they'll just give up their entitlements. MB North is built out. The northern part of MB South is designated residential, and I can't imagine them displacing that for an arena. The southern part of MB South around UCSF is all hospital/biotech. Displacing what is shaping up to be a real nucleus for science to put in an arena wouldn't be a good idea...if enough space could even be found there.

About the only place in MB that could be a possibility in my eyes is the Seawall Lot 337 spot across the cove from AT&T Park. It already has a multi-use plan in place spearheaded by the Giants, but I suppose that could be altered, as it's separate from the MB redevelopment efforts.

I'd be tempted to say Hunter's Point as an option as a replacement for the 49ers stadium if they head south, but that's not in "downtown" by any stretch and would be a bad location for an arena that would be better served being in a dense location near an urban core due to the level of usage it would see in the evenings throughout the season.

pesto
Oct 15, 2009, 8:32 PM
if SF doesn't work, how about SJ like everyone else? (please don't start ragging on me; I am not recommending this; this is more ironic than anything else)

I'm just kidding, but if the Warriors did move to SJ, then SJ (including Santa Clara, where the proposed stadium is quite near the SJ border) would have as many teams as LA and SF COMBINED

LA: Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Lakers (the Angels and the proposed NFL Stadium in Industry are some distance away)
SF: Giants (assuming Raiders and 49er's move to Santa Clara and not to LA)

SJ: Sharks, A's, Raiders, 49er's, Warriors

I understand that the combination of popular votes and negotiations to get this fully done is some way off; I'm just commenting on how topsy-turvy things could be)

krudmonk
Oct 17, 2009, 12:45 AM
if SF doesn't work, how about SJ like everyone else? (please don't start ragging on me; I am not recommending this; this is more ironic than anything else)

I'm just kidding, but if the Warriors did move to SJ, then SJ (including Santa Clara, where the proposed stadium is quite near the SJ border) would have as many teams as LA and SF COMBINED

LA: Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Lakers (the Angels and the proposed NFL Stadium in Industry are some distance away)
SF: Giants (assuming Raiders and 49er's move to Santa Clara and not to LA)

SJ: Sharks, A's, Raiders, 49er's, Warriors

I understand that the combination of popular votes and negotiations to get this fully done is some way off; I'm just commenting on how topsy-turvy things could be)
And the Earthquakes, dammit! I know MLS is marginalized as a minor sport/league, but they actually construct stadia purpose-built for soccer. That's fairly significant.

As for all those things happening, I think the last to the party would rethink making it a crowd. If two more teams set up camp in the South Bay, a third would probably not see it as such a goldmine anymore. Similarly, if the A's and Raiders skip town, having the East Bay to themselves would probably make the Warriors liking their location a bit more.

pesto
Oct 19, 2009, 4:40 PM
If I brought up the Quakes you have to talk about LA soccer and WNBA, etc.

I really only got started on this because WildCowboy pointed out that SF is running out of appropriate space for an arena.

At any rate, you're right about the market getting sated. If you only think you need a 30,000 seat stadium (smallest in the majors) you aren't real up-beat about attendance prospects to begin with.

On the flip side, DT SJ has both Caltrain (and someday HSR) and local light-rail at its doorsteps and enough parking to cover overflow. Only vary rarely would A's play on the same day as Sharks or Warriors, so traffic shouldn't be a consideration. And the football has its own parking and light-rail.

rs913
Oct 20, 2009, 3:36 AM
On the flip side, DT SJ has both Caltrain (and someday HSR) and local light-rail at its doorsteps and enough parking to cover overflow. Only vary rarely would A's play on the same day as Sharks or Warriors, so traffic shouldn't be a consideration. And the football has its own parking and light-rail.

But once the Transbay Terminal takes shape, downtown SF south of Market will be hooked up to just about every Bay Area transit system via a modern new facility.

A new arena there would be similar to Boston's "New Garden" (build atop a commuter rail station) and NYC's Madison Square Garden (on top of Penn Station, which links to 2 commuter rail systems plus a huge bus terminal 8 blocks away). With any luck, there'd be a lot of Warriors fans parking at BART and Caltrain stations, not at the arena.

You'd also have a lot of nearby places to go before and after the game, just like in Boston and at MSG in NYC, but not at the Warriors' current facility in the middle of a parking lot just off the freeway in a crappy part of Oakland.

Of course, my enthusiasm over this idea is in an imaginary world where money is no object. A Warriors move to SF will likely be feasible when pigs fly and Megan Fox agrees to go on a date with me.

Gordo
Oct 20, 2009, 4:38 AM
If it was all up to me, I'd do this:

1. Move the 49ers to the proposed location in Santa Clara and redevelop Hunters Point without a stadium.

2. Move the A's to a new Uptown Stadium in Oakland (I know, I know, not possible now that other stuff has been proposed, built, or whatever on the site).

3. Move the Raiders to Dublin, adjacent to the BART station and 580.

4. Move the Warriors to a new arena at SWL 337 across from AT&T Park in San Francisco.

5. Demolish the Coliseum and Oracle Arena and redevelop the entire site surrounding the BART station (and the oceans of parking) in Oakland with high density housing and/or office/something space, along with scrapping and redoing the stupid Oakland Airport Connector plan.

That would give us nice balance - basketball season meshes with baseball season perfectly, so Mission Bay would have an additional 60-70 days of heavy use from games/events with almost no overlap with games/events at AT&T Park. SF would have two teams from the big four sports, the South Bay would have two teams, and the East Bay would have two teams. Oakland would have a nice urban ballpark, Dublin and Santa Clara would get the football stadiums where more room for parking is needed/desired and no urbanish area (be it Oakland, SF, or SJ) would be saddled with a stadium and massive parking lots that only get used a couple dozen times a year.

Chances of this happening? 0.00000000000000002%

pesto
Oct 20, 2009, 5:20 PM
in general, the better the proposal, the less likely it will happen.

peanut gallery
Oct 20, 2009, 7:07 PM
I could get behind most of that, Gordo, especially the A's in Uptown. Oh, what might have been. The one thing I would definitely change is I'd put the Raiders and Niners in the Santa Clara stadium. It's just too wasteful to build two separate football stadia for 10 games each. There just aren't that many other events to fill that large a venue, let alone two.

pesto
Oct 20, 2009, 9:18 PM
I think that Gordo proposes 4 new stadia and 2 economic redevelopment programs, so I would say this is more a wish list than a fundable or executable plan of action.

I am not emotionally into this, so I am not pushing this idea. However, it appears that the only viable indoor arena at this point is HP (I am not sure what-all Oracle needs to do to be acceptable to ownership). And it also appears that the only stadium that is acceptable is the proposed SC facility (I guess upgrading at Monster and in Oakland is not happening). So it seems reasonable for the the Warriors and 49er's to make those moves, assuming they want to stay in the Bay Area. If the Raiders chose to follow the 49ers to SC and save a ton of money, this would make sense as well (even though I would bet they are drooling over City of Industry at this point).

The Giants are not going to let the A's into their ballpark so the choices for the A's are stay put or build somewhere. SJ is the leading candidate for reasons largely of Oakland's and Fremont's own chosing.

Is this fairly objective? Such a scenario would horribly glut the South Bay sports market and isn't going to happen. But it does seem the cheapest and shortest-term direction of least resistance and so has a sort of horrible logic to it.

krudmonk
Oct 21, 2009, 1:10 AM
The Coliseum should be leveled except for Mt Davis, with three other stands to finish the rectangular configuration that both the Coliseum and Candlestick lack. Put both clubs there, as it's uprooting only one team and that one will be closer to their traditional home.

As for the A's, baseball is a daily event with fans opting for bars and restaurants over endless parking lots for tailgating. I can't think of a place in Oakland that allows walking from eating establishment to the game, or vice versa (see new ballpark blog for rundown of speculated sites).

From an entertainment standpoint, I'd much rather have the NBA down here than MLB. I just prefer one sport over the other. Since this is an urban development forum, though, I have to say a baseball park would bring much more to the SJ cityscape. Not only would the stadium itself be new, but development in the immediate area would reflect its proposed glory with aforementioned bars, restaurants, etc.

Then again, a lot of Diridon South is supposed to be built up anyway. I think the city's plans hinge on MLB's decision. Plus, I'm not really a fan of taking another city's team, even if the large majority of fans who don't reside in Oakland city limits won't care either way.

Gordo
Oct 21, 2009, 2:08 AM
To be clear, I was totally talking pie-in-the-sky in my "proposal" :)

peanutgallery, now that you mention it, that does make much more sense for the Raiders and Niners to share a stadium. It would be nice to get the Earthquakes in on that action too.

pesto, yeah, my proposal was pretty outlandish, but one of the redevelopment proposals is going through anyway (Hunters Point). The only question now is whether that redevelopment will include a new stadium for the 49ers, or whether that stadium will be in Santa Clara. I'm not really sure what the problem with Oracle Arena is (or if there is one, really), it was gutted and re-done not too long ago. The location is pretty abysmal, aside from decent access to BART and a perpetually choked freeway, but the facility itself isn't too bad.

When I mentioned the Uptown site for the A's, that's really the most outlandish, as it's not even a possibility now. Developments have already been completed on that piece of land. As of now, I think the best spot for the A's is near Diridon Station in SJ. Just as basketball and baseball feed off of each other well (in terms of keeping a neighborhood active more of the year), hockey and baseball do the same.

peanut gallery
Oct 21, 2009, 3:34 AM
Yeah, I got the whole fantasy nature of your post. Just adding to it. :)

pesto
Oct 21, 2009, 7:32 PM
If Oracle is fundamentally sound, then tear-down the Coliseum and convert the area into an urban development, with reasonable dining alternatives and decent security.

SJ gets the A's and does the same around Diridon/HP, that is, revitalizes a DT neighborhood without too much local complaints.

Football is a little more open but SC and Industry seem to be the major eligible suitors so you would think either the Raiders or Chargers will go to one or the other.

krudmonk
Oct 21, 2009, 7:38 PM
SC and Industry are not in the same boat at all. Down south, the process is being rammed through legislation with loads of cash. Santa Clara is inevitably going to vote down the Yorks's pipe dream. I would not call it a suitor, other than a few pols with huge heads and wide eyes.

peanut gallery
Oct 21, 2009, 7:55 PM
^krudmonk - has there been a measure of public opinion on the Santa Clara stadium? Is that the general feeling? Or is it your opinion based on past efforts? Since you're in the south bay, I figure you probably have a pretty good feel for it.

pesto
Oct 21, 2009, 8:35 PM
I've wondered too. Semcken, who works for Roski, treats the 49er move to SC as a done deal and I wondered if he had some polling results in hand or was just respecting the negotiated deal between the York's and the City.

I haven't seen any polls and, even if I did, I'm not sure how trustworthy they would be.

If the 49ers' lose in SC, then LA becomes the leading candidate. Could leave Roski in quite a position, controlling the LA market and a number of teams to chose from.

Roski certainly has overwhelming support in his area. As I understand it, every city within 10 miles of the stadium (and that's about 15 cities) are now OK with the deal.

krudmonk
Oct 21, 2009, 11:52 PM
^krudmonk - has there been a measure of public opinion on the Santa Clara stadium? Is that the general feeling? Or is it your opinion based on past efforts? Since you're in the south bay, I figure you probably have a pretty good feel for it.
I can't speak of an overwhelming, anti-stadium dread since I live across city lines. The most popular football team in my neighborhood is more likely Chivas de Guadalajara than the Niners or Raiders. The feeling I get on the matter is mostly from internet research, not chit chat with people around the valley.

I've come across some unscientific polls that strongly point toward "NO." The opposition group Santa Clara Plays Fair has had facetime on KTVU and seem to pop up in most discussions on the matter. From their site, I see there are several more blogs which track stadium developments and always chime in with naysaying. SB43 and its permitting non-competitive bidding should further galvanize the opposition. The only cheerleading I see is from 49ers die-hards, and it's hard to rely so heavily on them in a place so transient. People's concerns are schools and roads, not the pseudo-local flavor in which they've only recently been immersed.

None of this means much until the actual vote, of course. I am banking a lot on history, as you say. Other than the arena in '88 (different municipality), stadium projects don't really fly with voters. Even that one had a strong neighborhood rehab component. When it came to the beloved Giants playing in the burbs of Santa Clara and San Jose (separate move attempts), voters were not as kind. I was not a voter back then so I was not too schooled on the details of those initiatives, but I don't sense that attitudes have swayed the other way since.

pesto
Oct 22, 2009, 5:15 AM
krudmonk: sounds like a very fair analysis. I would say the supporters in both SJ and SC are hoping for the recession to shift some votes. I suppose the unions and small businesses are going to support projects of that size. As you note, the area has many Latino residents, but I am not sure they are motivated to vote either way (especially if they're not citizens!).

Gordo
Oct 22, 2009, 6:05 AM
pesto - keep in mind that it's the city of Santa Clara voting on the stadium, not the county of Santa Clara. The city of Santa Clara doesn't really have much of a Latino population (around 15%), but is heavily Asian/White and overwhelmingly white collar. I can't imagine that more than 10% of the city's workforce is unionized.

pesto
Oct 22, 2009, 11:08 PM
Gordo: Admitedly, more Latino in DT SJ than SC.

I will take your word for the 15%, but my sense is that it was more hispanic than that, with some Indian and Korean techies and long-timer whites in the older neighborhoods. But I just drive through so that's mostly surface impressions.

Ronin
Oct 28, 2009, 5:55 PM
Gordo: Admitedly, more Latino in DT SJ than SC.

I will take your word for the 15%, but my sense is that it was more hispanic than that, with some Indian and Korean techies and long-timer whites in the older neighborhoods. But I just drive through so that's mostly surface impressions.

Korean? Not likely. More like Taiwanese or Mainland Chinese.

pesto
Oct 28, 2009, 8:03 PM
First no Latinos and now no Koreans? Maybe you guys are talking about a different Santa Clara? A brief excerpt from a longer article:

BUSINESS OWNERS ON EL CAMINO PROMOTE BENEFITS IN CREATING DISTRICT
The Bay Area may be getting its very own Koreatown. Some Korean business owners along El Camino Real in Santa Clara want the city to help establish a Korean business district similar to those in Los Angeles and Garden Grove.

Korean video shops, restaurants, karaoke bars and grocery stores are clustered in strip malls along El Camino Real from Lawrence Expressway to Lafayette Street. Under the chamber's proposal, a monument welcoming residents to Koreatown would be erected on a median on El Camino near Lawrence Expressway; a Korean-style gazebo would be built at Central Park; Koreatown signs would be placed on highways 101, 880 and 280..."

I eat there regularly and the primary language is Korean. Vietnamese is in DT SJ and the Eastside, and Chinese in Cupertino. But Korean in Santa Clara, for sure.

Which is not to say that the Hispanic population isn't large as well.
Latino presence is so obvious as to not require comment.

Ronin
Oct 28, 2009, 10:29 PM
I go to Santa Clara for Korean food myself (99 Chicken!), but just because there is an <insert ethnicity here> Town, it doesn't mean that members of said ethnicity all live within the vicinity. It just means it is a cultural destination enclave. Also, however many Koreans there are, they are not "techies" for sure. The tech industry is dominated by Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, and Indian. Not too many Koreans that I know of. I did some real estate at Rivermark back in the day, and Koreans were not a common sight. I could go days without meeting any Koreans, but Chinese (of all flavors), Vietnamese, and Indian were a dime a dozen.