Community activists in favor of the proposed Golden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay are calling foul on a group that has promised to fight the project all the way to the courtroom.
A Change.org petition in support of the project was created May 9 by a coalition of neighbors, community-based organizations and small-business owners, and as of Tuesday morning had more than 3,000 signatures.
The petition also urges members of the Mission Bay Alliance, who do not want an arena located at Third and 16th streets across from UC San Francisco's new hospitals, to identify themselves and spell out their intentions for blocking the development.
“Obviously community input has shaped this project, and then these guys come along and threaten with lawyers,” said Patrick Valentino, vice president of the South Beach Mission Bay Merchants Association and an author of the petition. “It’s a very dark thing to do.”
The Warriors had previously proposed a waterfront arena along The Embarcadero just south of the Bay Bridge, but last year purchased land in Mission Bay from Salesforce.com amid opposition to that proposal.
The Mission Bay Alliance, led by former UCSF officials, argues that traffic congestion and a lack of parking will impact the neighborhood. The alliance recently announced it had retained a slew of prominent attorneys in preparation for a legal battle against the project.
Sam Singer, a spokesman for the alliance, said its leaders are well-known former top officials at UCSF, and that more than 1,000 people are part of the alliance. The alliance is not affiliated with UCSF, which supports the project.
The petition will ultimately be sent to Bruce Spaulding, the alliance’s strategy and organizational consultant. Spaulding is also the former senior vice chancellor of advancement and planning at UCSF.