The Warriors' new arena is set to open in Mission Bay in time for the 2019-20 NBA season. (Courtesy Chase Center)

Appeals court upholds plan to build Warriors arena in Mission Bay

The Warriors’ recent winning streak continued off the court and in the courtroom when the last-ditch effort to block a new arena for the basketball team in Mission Bay was rejected by the California Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

That means the arena, which will be named Chase Center and located at Third and 16th streets across the street from the three new UC San Francisco hospitals, is set to open for the 2019-20 NBA season.

SEE RELATED: Warriors not champs but still shooting for new SF arena

“We’re very pleased by the Appellate Court’s ruling,” Rick Welts, the team’s president and COO, said in a statement. “We engaged in an extensive public planning process and we were approved by every board, agency and regulatory body we went before.”

The appeal of a previously unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the validity of The City’s approvals for the arena was filed by the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of former UCSF officials who claimed the arena will have devastating traffic impacts on the emergency services at the nearby hospitals.

The Board of Supervisors late last year approved plans to build the arena, and the team has already begun pre-construction work at the 11-acre site, which will also include restaurants, cafes, offices and public plazas, as well as a new five-and-a-half-acre public waterfront park.

“Now our project has been upheld by the trial court and the court of appeals,” Welts said in the statement. “This decision clears the path for us to build a new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue and bring the Warriors back home to San Francisco.”

He added, “We look forward to breaking ground soon.”

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement that the judge’s ruling shows the project’s environmental review and approval process were thorough.

“We’re very pleased with the Court of Appeal’s thoughtful and comprehensive ruling,” Herrera said in the statement. “This event center is an important civic priority that has been thoroughly scrutinized and has won overwhelming support every step of the way.”

Mayor Ed Lee said he is “thrilled” with the judge’s ruling to allow the arena in Mission Bay.

“The state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena will provide a venue for a new-level of cultural events in our city and the Mission Bay neighborhood,” Lee said in a statement. “The arena will also create new permanent jobs for our residents and millions of dollars in additional revenue for our city. It is the first NBA arena in the country to be privately financed and built on private property.”

The Mission Bay Alliance, meanwhile, said in a statement the group is “deeply disappointed” in the ruling and that its legal team is “reviewing the ruling” and “considering options.”

“We believe that the proposed Warriors’ arena is incompatible with the Mission Bay South neighborhood and would result in blocked access to UCSF hospitals, dangerous air pollution, and traffic gridlock throughout the community,” the alliance said in the statement.

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