If the Golden State Warriors are successful in their quest to play all of their home games in a shiny new area on the San Francisco waterfront, they're going to have to surmount a whole mess of obstacles.
The main one? Paying for a building that could cost upwards of $600 million without a cent of public financing.
According to the results of a survey of nearby residents conducted by South Beach-Rincon-Mission Bay Neighborhood Association, another huge potential obstacle will be assuaging the fears of residents in the area immediately surrounding the Pier 30-32 construction site where the arena will be built.
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According to a report by San Francisco real estate blog SocketSite, 49 percent of the 741 respondents were either "somewhat against" or "strongly against" the arena plan, while 45 percent were either "strongly favoring" or "somewhat favoring." The remaining six percent had no opinion.
Opposition to the arena was strongest for those living within three blocks of the construction site, and opinions grew more favorable as respondents moved further away.
What complaints could anyone have about what the Bleacher Report predicts will be "one of the sexiest arenas in sports?"
The biggest issue is the ever-present traffic gridlock that will likely arise from a nearly 20,000-seat arena holding upwards of 200 events per year situated smack in the middle of a dense urban environment that's already home to one major sports stadium, AT&T Park.
On days when there are events at both venues, the San Francisco Examiner estimates that the overall population influx into the neighborhood could reach up to 60,000.
"We have serious concerns about changing from a mixed-use district with primarily residential neighborhoods and a major stadium to one that has a major stadium and a major arena along the Embarcadero," the South Beach Mission Bay Rincon Neighborhood Association said in a statement. "We are able to handle the pressures of the major ballpark, but we are having trouble visualizing how the neighborhood can absorb the year-round impacts of two major sports complexes without overloading the infrastructure and becoming no longer family-friendly."
Many of the fears remain largely hypothetical at this point because a design for what arena will eventually look like has yet to be publically revealed. The currently Oakland-based NBA franchise announced last month that Snøhetta, an Oslo-based architecture firm also tapped to design an extension to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, will draft blueprints for the venue.
Both the city and Warriors management have begun to reach out to neighbors and other stakeholders in an effort to gain support of the plan.
In a post on Warriors fan blog Fast Break, blogger Adam Lauridsen wrote that he received a solicitation from a volunteer working with the team encouraging him, as a current season ticket holder, to attend public meetings about the arena project and voice his support.
The Golden State Warriors aren't the only team moving closer to the heart of San Francisco. Its associated development league team will relocate from its current home in North Dakota to a stadium in the comparatively nearby Santa Cruz.
The Warriors hope to have their new waterfront arena completed in time for the start of the 2017-18 NBA season.
Check out these design specs showing what the new area could look like:
More:San Francisco Warriors Arena Survey San Francisco Golden State Warriors San Francisco NBA Stadium San Francisco Warriors Arena San Francisco Warriors Arena Poll
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