The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) have played out of Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, since 1971. But by the 2019-20 NBA season, they'll be shooting hoops at a brand new arena across San Francisco Bay. On Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors and GSW Arena LLC officially broke ground for Chase Center, a highly anticipated sports and entertainment complex to be built in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighbourhoood.
The ceremony drew many notable names, including Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Warriors Owner and CEO Joe Lacob, Head Coach Steve Kerr, All-Star Forward Kevin Durant, and Chase CEO of Consumer Banking Thasunda Duckett. "Today marks a great day for our organization and the entire Bay Area," said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. "Chase Center and the surrounding district will be a destination for the entire community and today's ceremony celebrates the breaking of ground for a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco. We look forward to building a destination filled with energy and excitement for the entire Bay Area."
Lead architect MANICA is designing the facility with Kendall Heaton providing support, and Gensler imagining the interiors. Though Chase Center will primarily serve as the home venue for the team, which won the NBA Championship in 2015, its multi-purpose design will accommodate a variety of events, including concerts, conventions, and family shows. The 18,064-seat facility will be the anchor of a major mixed-use district boasting restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas, a five-and-a-half-acre public waterfront park, and additional amenities that the budding neighbourhood currently lacks. Getting to the arena should be hassle-free; its location on a major Muni Metro rail line, with quick access to BART and other transit services, makes the venue location ideal. Construction of Chase Center is estimated to take about two and a half years.
"Chase Center will make history, not only as the home of our beloved Warriors, but as the only 100-percent privately financed arena in the United States," said Mayor Lee. "This is no small feat. Typically, the taxpayers are asked to pay for or subsidize professional sports facilities, or at least provide public land, but the Warriors are paying for this venue on land they purchased themselves."
The vacant lot has been an eyesore for years, with redevelopment of the site at Third and 16th Streets on the table since 1998. The team entered into an agreement to purchase the property in 2014, and subsequently obtained the requisite approvals that gave the project clearance to proceed. The Golden State Warriors were known as the San Francisco Warriors prior to their move across the Bay to Oakland. In response to the move, the franchise is considering reverting the team's name back to its previous brand, but no final decision has been made.
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