Mission Bay Alliance files complaint against UCSF for agreement over Warriors arena

A group of former UC San Francisco leaders have filed a legal complaint against the university’s current administration for its agreement with the Warriors, who plan to build a basketball arena across the street from UCSF’s three new hospitals.

The complaint seeks to invalidate a memorandum of understanding between UCSF and the Warriors that was executed in the fall just before the Warriors finalized their purchase of an 11-acre property at Third and 16th streets from Salesforce.com, claiming the agreement eliminates many of UCSF’s rights related to the arena.

The Mission Bay Alliance filed the complaint in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday.

The complaint alleges that UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood acted without the UC Regents’ authority in reaching the agreement with the Warriors. The MOU was announced Oct. 6 after city officials agreed to numerous transportation improvements aimed to mitigate congestion around the new arena.

But the alliance, an outspoken opponent of the arena that also unsuccessfully appealed the project’s final environmental impact report, argues that the agreement prevents UCSF from taking any arena-related problems to court, like traffic created by the overlap of a Warriors game with a nurses’ shift change at UCSF in the evening, for example.

UCSF officially endorsed the arena after city officials agreed to millions of dollars in transportation improvements, including the establishment of a Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund to pay for more Muni light rail vehicles and traffic officers, among other efforts to mitigate traffic, with revenue from the Warriors arena.

“Our focus from Day 1 has been to protect hospital access and patient safety,” Chancellor Hawgood said in a statement when the MOU was announced Oct. 6. “Together, these agreements — one creating a dedicated transportation improvement fund, the other a ‘special circumstances cap’ requiring last-resort limitations on certain dual events should traffic reach unmanageable levels — will provide the safeguards UCSF needs to fully endorse the Warriors’ Arena project.”

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