It looks like the Warriors won’t be partnering up with the Giants for an arena after all, which, if Matier and Ross are correct, is the best decision the franchise has made under the Lacob-Gruber ownership group. Instead of building on the parking lots south of China Basin, the Warriors’ arena could end up at Piers 30 & 32, which were recently abandoned as part of the America’s Cup project due to the cost of development.
The new foundation, which would consist of hundreds of deeply driven piles, would cost $80 million. The piers are currently an 11-acre parking lot, so there’s ample room for an arena, parking, and as would be expected, green space.
It’s a supremely attractive location, at the foot of the Bay Bridge and equidistant from both BART and Caltrain (3/4 mile). The only issues are a lack of parking in the vicinity and potential EIR difficulties stemming from the visual impact of the structure. You can imagine the bumper videos of ferries approaching a bayside arena during Warriors broadcasts, with the Bay Bridge and Financial District in the background.
Matier and Ross argue that the W’s are getting rid of a middleman in the Giants, which is probably correct, but it’s easy to see them exchanging one partner for another. It makes sense for the W’s to partner with AEG or another arena operator to defray some of the cost. If we’re projecting to a 2017 or 2018 opening, the cost of the arena could run $700 million easily, maybe more. Key to the deal is the fact that the W’s don’t currently operate Oracle Arena, since they have no control over it. SMG operates the arena instead, and while SMG could pitch the W’s on operating an arena in SF, I imagine that their history leaves something to be desired.
The arena could be anywhere from 120 to 150 feet tall, depending on how complex the structure is. With the lack of nearby parking, the arena could be built with 1,000+ spaces underneath. It’s more expensive, but knowing the NBA’s requirements for premium seating, also necessary. There is an example of a waterfront arena with 1,000 parking spaces built in a garage underneath. That venue happens to be in Miami, and it was designed in part by 360 Architecture, the same firm working with the A’s.
On second thought, maybe it’ll cost $1 billion.