HoopsHype San Francisco rumors

May 22, 2012 Updates

The Golden State Warriors are jumping across the bay, with plans for a privately financed, $500 million waterfront arena that would allow the team to play its home games in San Francisco for the first time in more than four decades. The NBA franchise would leave Oakland for a 17,000- to 19,000-seat arena that would be built on Piers 30-32 near the foot of the Bay Bridge, a short walk from downtown, and open in time for the 2017-18 season. "It is going to happen - let there be no doubt," Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said Monday. San Francisco Chronicle

Tomorrow, probably before noon, GSW co-owners Joe Lacob & Peter Guber are expected to announce their intentions to move the Warriors to San Francisco at the very site of this announcement. The Warriors are laying claim to Pier 30/32, on the Embarcadero, aimed for the 2017-’18 NBA season–which is the first time the Warriors can exit their lease with Oakland. San Jose Mercury-News

Actually getting this completed won’t be easy, or else something like this would’ve been done long ago, as Mark Purdy points out, surveying some of the history of failed efforts on that site and in San Francisco as a whole. Several sources involved with SF development told me today that you cannot overstate the difficulties of trying to even plan to build on that site. And Lacob & Guber have been seriously analyzing the Pier 30/32 site for less than a year–maybe less than four or five months. San Jose Mercury-News

Hey, as one well-connected source theorized, with San Francisco losing the 49ers soon, there is some increased motivation for the politicians to make life easier than normal for incoming sports developments. However… That other SF option–the AT&T Park/Mission Bay Project controlled by the Giants–is still there, and still further along with the permits and development than anything else. San Jose Mercury-News

Warriors co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber said their driving motivation is to build an arena that would help them establish a winning basketball team. Yet they fully understand that the Bay Area, unlike other sports-mad regions, is unwilling to dip into public treasuries or raise special taxes to subsidize such a venue. They are counting on the appeal of the San Francisco site to make the project work. "This is a gamble," Lacob said. "This is a risk of large proportions." The city's contribution will be relatively modest. Lee said the team would receive a "very friendly" long-term lease for the piers on which the arena will be built. Those piers, just south of the Bay Bridge and owned by the Port of San Francisco, have become so unstable that they have been deemed unfit for uses more intensive than their current role as a parking lot. San Francisco Chronicle

The owners apparently have come to see the NBA's free-agency market as something of a real-estate game. Because the league's salary cap allows little variation in how much a premier player can earn on any team, a star might be more easily swayed by location, location, location. "We went through a year of negotiations in free agency and we whiffed," Lacob said at a Monday meeting with Chronicle reporters and editors, in advance of Tuesday's news conference announcing the Warriors' plans for a waterfront arena near the Giants' ballpark. "It does appear that it matters to major free agents where they play." Guber, via conference call, added: "The scarcest resource is the talent. If there is a not a world-class venue, that is a factor." San Francisco Chronicle

May 21, 2012 Updates

The Golden State Warriors are close to making a deal to move to San Francisco, a source told ESPN the Magazine's Ric Bucher on Sunday. The team wants to make the move and is committed to making it happen, the source said. San Francisco mayor Ed Lee sent a letter Friday saying the city would work with Warriors executives to bring the team to San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 season. ESPN.com

May 14, 2012 Updates

It's official - San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is openly calling on the Golden State Warriors to jump the bay and return to San Francisco "in time for the 2017 NBA season." In a letter also signed by all 11 city supervisors, the Port Commission, San Francisco's legislative contingent and a host of business and labor leaders, Lee told the team the city would "work with you to achieve this goal." San Francisco Chronicle

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