Warriors revise and scale down SF arena with public feedback

Finally! The Warriors released detailed images of their planned arena at San Francisco’s Piers 30/32. In doing so, developers Snøhetta and AECOM made changes to the scope of the arena. Least noticeable is a proposal to reduce the height of the arena from 135 feet to 125 feet. The kayak ramp planned for the south end has also been removed, replaced by the cruise ship terminal fought for by the Port and the ILWU.


View from NW corner looking at northern façade

To minimize the visual impact of a 12-story tall structure, Snøhetta is breaking up the façade on all four sides in different ways. Along the north side there’s some terraced landscaping along with a two-level peripheral building which will serve as additional retail or arena support space. Streetside (west) has its own retail buildings and an upslope to the arena’s main level. The south side is marked by a long exterior ramp that leads to a balcony on the east that looks into and out of the arena, which is something I hoped for from the beginning. The ramp divides the space in such a clean way that it looks as if God could reach down and pry the arena open along that “seam” with one hand. The bowl’s curtainwall façade will be made of clear glass, mounted in a slightly diagonal fashion.


Interior of arena with new open peek out to Bay Bridge also provides limited views of action from outside


A look inside the arena from publicly accessible exterior ramp is reminiscent of AT&T Park’s knothole area along promenade


View of south façade is perhaps the most monolithic. Exterior ramp helps break up the look.


Night view from afar exposes arena as a more traditional venue than previously suggested


View from South Beach towards arena and Bay Bridge gives arena a crystalline look

An overhead view shows the arena as an assymetrical oval

An overhead view shows the arena as an assymetrical oval

The original plan called for 630 parking spaces on site. The revised plan and Matier and Ross note that spaces will be reduced to only 500. There are no plans to build additional parking anywhere else close to the site. While the changes being proposed are meant to satiate some critics of the plan, the most strident opponents are steadfast in their belief that the site is simply not the right place for an arena due to the visual and traffic impacts. These new changes are typical of the CEQA process, which factors in feedback from citizens and interest groups during community meetings. More are likely to come, though no one should expect any major changes from here on out.

32 thoughts on “Warriors revise and scale down SF arena with public feedback

  1. Wow, talk about a beautiful backdrop for a basketball game, that view of the Bay Bridge from inside the arena looks amazing! In an era of “cookie-cutter” arenas, this is definitely a breath of fresh air. Oakland biases aside, I’m sure no other team would be able to say they have a home court as unique and picturesque as the Warriors if this thing gets built.

  2. I kind of wish they’d remove those small blocks of seats and open that up more. Either way, that’s an amazing view from the inside. I doubt it’s feasible, but if they could turn that entire roof into an observation deck with a see-through roof with a bird’s eye view of the inside through the rafters.

  3. Where’s the traditional Bay Area media outrage over the Warriors possibly leaving Oakland for $an Franci$co?!
    JL, while I agree this arena looks great, I disagree that we’re in an era of “cookie-cutter” arenas. Although different, It doesn’t look any better than (say) Staples or Barclays (IMHO). I personally like the Conseco Fieldhouse myself, with its warehouse/barn-like look; now that says original! Heck, with a major upgrade, our Shark Tank will be right there with this Bay arena.
    While I don’t reside in SF, I do agree with opponents on the visual aspect of the Bay. If I’m a tourist/visitor I want to see the bridge and bay waters, not a huge UFO parked on a pier. But whatever..

  4. Last post meant “impact,” not “aspect.”

  5. Perhaps a poor choice of word on my part; by “cookie-cutter”, I meant to reference the point ML made in the post he linked from last year:

    “One of the more lamentable facts about modern indoor arenas is that, unlike their outdoor brethren, most arenas do nothing to celebrate the environments and neighborhoods in which they reside. Cold and insular, arenas are all about focusing on the floor or action.”

    IMO, most arenas don’t have the same kind of design quirkiness that ballparks or even football stadiums do that distinguishes one from the other (and here, I’m referring mostly to the interior/seating bowl, not necessarily exterior or concourse design, which obviously do more to provide aesthetics and “character” to an arena). Like I said, things like this Warriors “Bay view” design and recent renderings of the new Sonics Arena (which, unfortunately, looks like will not be built anytime soon) provide a nice reprieve from the standard arena design.

    I agree with you on the Fieldhouse, though. If there was a such thing as a basketball equivalent to a retro-classic Camden Yards, that would be it.

  6. What’s the capacity on this ML? That lower bowl looks small. Almost college like.

  7. The Dub’s owner is a real d-bag. Warriors fans are easily among the best in pro sports. Until 2012-2013, the team has been one of the least succesful professional sports franchises for twenty years, yet they have been consistently among the league leaders at NBA attendance – and how does Lacob reward them – by moving the team to SF?

    Who needs another dumb stadium by the bay also – since it is an indoor facility, one can’t enjoy the views of the bay – goofy. This is another reason the A’s need to move to San Jose – an A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal would be a dumb by-the-bay clone of the giants stadium. If the A’s stay in Oakland – they need to build at the current Coliseum location
    – eff the by-the-bay stadium locations.

  8. @Larry E – 17,500.

  9. duffer, sounds like you’ve never been to AT&T park. Although I’ll give you that baseball park has alot more focus on its surroundings because of the nature of the game, You cannot tell me that catching a glimpse of the lit up Bay Bridge as you jump out of your seat after witnessing Curry drop a 35 footer would not make that an incredible and iconic memory. Its a similar feeling you would get if you are sitting club level right field and watching Panda slam one into McCovey Cove and catch a glimpse of that bridge that lets you know exactly where you are. As for East Bay fans being upset they are leaving Oakland, well I’m sure they won’t complain too much as the walk from the BART station would be almost equidistant from what it is now. And who wouldn’t like their favorite team to boast one of the most iconic arena in the US?
    This is going to be hands down my favorite sports arena of all time when it gets built. Can’t wait!

  10. Slightly OT: the Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly Conseco FH) in Indy has a huge center video screen that is Dallas Cowboys-esque. Awesome! I can see The Tank getting one of these as part of a major renovation.

  11. i think hou’s arena already has a “cowboys” type video screen too.

    wonder if more teams in the nba are willing to go that route in the future rather than the usual 4 sided scoreboard above the court.

  12. @letsgoas,
    Thanks for the 411. Hopefully more teams in the NHL go that route as well. Not in the above renderings, but perhaps the SF Arena will have a screen like that to.

  13. If the stadium is built, I wonder what the hockey configuration would be.

  14. @Mike2 the lower bowl looks too small for an NHL rink

  15. I would figure based on these renderings that a hockey setup would require a large chunk of seats removed from one end of the lower bowl to make room for the rink – similar to what we see at older arenas like Oracle, or what we’ll see at the Barclays Center when the Islanders move in in 2015.

    This probably will cast doubt on the already remote possibility of SF attempting to lure the Sharks away from San Jose. Considering basketball capacity is only going to be 17,500, the reduced capacity for hockey will most likely be very small by NHL standards. Couple that with the obstructed seats in the upper deck and you have a less-than-ideal scenario that the Sharks would have to be out of their minds to prefer over HP Pavilion, IMHO (if it isn’t already insane enough to even think about abandoning their loyal fanbase in SJ).

    However, I could see a minor league team moving in perhaps… SF Bulls, maybe?

  16. yeah i don’t see the sharks moving out of sj anytime soon. if you didn’t notice, two teams want to move to the south bay, it’s not the other way around.

    also there was talk in a previous thread about what teams could be moving to sea now that the kings likely will stay in sac? the two teams mentioned were mil and min due to the old age of their respective venues. i never thought of this before but couldn’t min move away from target center in minneapolis to nearby st paul into the much newer xcel center in st paul which is about only 20 miles away.

  17. @EC,
    This is the wrong blog to be praising AT&T Park and a future SF arena, considering the Giants have thwarted (so far) our A’s efforts to get a new ballpark in SJ and the Warriors want to abandon Oakland proper for SF. Your entitled to your opinions, but be mindful of the feelings here: whether pro-SJ or Oakland, we’re not pro-SF! (our common “enemy”). Thank you and welcome.

  18. any idea of how many suites ML? It is hard to tell from these renderings but it looks like only 1 level of suites? Capacity for NBA would be down about 1k–and with less suites than Oracle and the need to pay off a 1B in investment in the arena tells me the cost of tickets is going to be astronomical–

  19. Wow. Stunning. This is a huge improvement over the initial group of concept renderings. Setting aside anxieties over how much public financing is involved, I eagerly await the opening of this arena.

  20. This is a wow project (just not on the scale of the Atlanta Falcons craziness).
    I think it’s important to note that waterfront is cool. I can separate my dislike of the Giants ownership group from the fact that they do have a top tier ballpark (the only newish stadium I like better is Camden Yards). That said, I want to A’s to play in a downtown stadium in Oakland or San Jose. I don’t want them playing in a cheap knock off of the yard across the bay.

  21. @GoA’s – The W’s haven’t posted a number, probably because it’s still somewhat in flux. My guess is 40 or less. They’ll make up for it with increased floor level suites and minisuites, plus more exclusive club stuff. One of the reasons why the W’s have such good crowds is that they have 19,596 rather affordable (for the NBA at least) seats at nearly every price level. That goes bye-bye in SF.

  22. Concurr, Tony D and Jeffrey: Also, if the Dubs were to relocate to this proposed waterfront arena, a view of the bay bridge while Adam Curry swishes a three pointer would be impossible since it would be an indoor stadium. Furthermore – considering Panda’s considerable girth, one is more likely to view Panda chowing down on a hot dog in the dugout between innings rather than slamming a homer into McCovey cove.

  23. Duffer, you may want to take a second look at the second image above. They’re planning to have an open view of the bridge in the background from inside the arena.

  24. Duffer, you might also want to take another look at the Warriors roster as well. I don’t remember seeing anyone named “Adam Curry” on the team…

  25. Adam Curry swishing field goals with a Bay Bridge backdrop. I want to say I’ve had this dream before.

  26. No thank you JL – I don’t plan on attending any W’s games at this proposed ugly monstrosity of a structure (if it is ever constructed – which is doubtful)

  27. This may be the filmmaker in me showing, but won’t the the lighting coming from the giant window views obstruct the indoor lighting in the arena?

    Temperatures from outdoor lighting are vastly different from tungsten, florescent, or any other type of indoor flood lighting and when shooting you need to expose for it properly. Typically you only have to light for one, rarely both indoor and and outdoor elements and I’m not even factoring in the changes of lighting that outdoor elements naturally bring. Clouds passing by the sun, the setting of sun, moon, etc.

    As beautiful and brave as this design is, I can see it causing major nightmares for the teams who have to broadcast these games, especially if there is a day game. I for one would hate to have to work on a shoot like that.

  28. LeAndre, how many Kelvin do you think that window would allow to flood the frame. It’d be and awesome key from some angles (just kidding).
    I’d imagine they would have some sort of way to block it out. Maybe electrochromic? Photochromic?

  29. Also could be something as simple as a screen to filter out sunlight during day games. Might obstruct and ruin the whole purpose of having an open view, but I think that would work (then again, I’m no photographer).

    • @LeAndre – I figure the W’s will use the “Lights Out” dimming scheme in use at many arenas. Dimmed house lights and consistent lighting over the court and first rows should make it easy to meter. Many new football domes have huge clerestory or other windows and it doesn’t seem to cause a problem.

      I have a feeling that the Warriors will install electrostatic windows that can turn transparent or opaque in an instant. They can have the glass shell run random patterns like the Bay Bridge Lights installation, or more crassly, use it as a form of signage. It’ll make the arena feel like a living, breathing organism.

  30. I feel like this is the first time the Warriors have admitted they’re going to build a HUGE stadium on the pier. Previous overhead views made it seem like it’d take up maybe 30% of the pier. These make it seem closer to 50%.

    I also wouldn’t worry about the window producing too much glare for a couple of reasons:
    1) I’d guess 95% of NBA games are played in the evening meaning there won’t be too many times where the east facing window will have sun glaring down on it
    2) NBA games are played from November through April (May games for the Warriors are rare). So it’ll most likely be dark at tip off.

    I’d guess their biggest concern will be able to use the Arena during the morning for events, like convention space.

  31. It’ll be interesting to see if this arena takes a bite into any Moscone Center bookings like WWDC. I have no idea if WWDC could fill a 18k seat arena, but I’m assuming a curtain partition would allow for a 9-10k attended WWDC keynote. The rest of the convention could stay at Moscone, which would be a reasonable walk from the arena.

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