The Warriors will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce the team's intention to move across the bay from Oakland to San Francisco, according to Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com. Last night we passed along a report that the Warriors have finalized plans for a new arena to be ready in time for the 2017/18 season. Still, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News cautions that owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber face an uphill battle in their pursuit.
The reported location of the arena, between Piers 30 and 32, brings into play a number of obstacles, as Purdy writes. Those include traffic, parking, and the concern that the building would block the shoreline view for the public and residents in nearby neighborhoods. The Twitter account of the Mercury News fan blog, which first reported the arena plan last night, noted that it included room for only 1,000 parking spaces, not enough for NBA arenas, which usually seat close to 20,000 people.
Purdy also cites San Francisco arena efforts dating back to the 1940s that have run up against a hostile local political climate. Steinmetz noted today that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who once had interest in buying the Warriors, scrapped plans to build on the site for the 2013 America's Cup yacht race rather than fight through regulations.
Still, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and all 11 city supervisors sent a letter to the Warriors last week pledging their cooperation. Purdy says there's been little doubt from the time they bought the team that Lacob and Guber wanted to make the crossbay move. There's a long way to go before the Warriors play a game in The City, but ownership seems determined to see just how far they can get.