Poll shows strong support for Warriors' San Francisco arena

Courtesy RenderingEarly lead: The Warriors’ president and Mayor Ed Lee will address a sold-out crowd today to discuss the planned basketball and entertainment arena at Piers 30-32. See below article for supporter poll results.

Courtesy RenderingEarly lead: The Warriors’ president and Mayor Ed Lee will address a sold-out crowd today to discuss the planned basketball and entertainment arena at Piers 30-32. See below article for supporter poll results.

A poll that will be discussed today shows that 80 percent of people in San Francisco support a new waterfront arena for the Warriors once they learned about the project details.

Team officials announced in May that they want to privately finance an arena on Piers 30-32, a 13-acre structure that lies just south of the Bay Bridge, and move the team back to San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 basketball season. The arena would seat between 17,000 and 19,000 and be used for Warriors home games and about 200 other events during the year, according to team officials.

During a San Francisco Business Times event today, Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts will discuss the poll’s findings, which show strong support in San Francisco, along with the East Bay, for the arena project. Mayor Ed Lee is scheduled to speak as well at the sold-out event, called “San Francisco Structures.”

The poll — a phone survey of 556 city voters conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates — indicated 68 percent of San Franciscans support the general concept of the project. That figure increased to 80 percent once project details were described.

“We are very heartened by the fact that there is such support at the outset of the project,” said Piers 30-32 project spokesman PJ Johnston.

Johnston said the support increases in the neighborhoods that surround the arena site.

The survey also found that a majority of people think the project will have a positive impact on entertainment options, the local economy, the overall quality of life and San Francisco’s budget.

Residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties also were supportive of the arena plan, even though it means the team will be moving from its current home in Oakland. Sixty-six percent of the 600 East Bay voters polled support the project, 24 percent oppose it and 11 percent are undecided.

The Warriors are currently doing community outreach, and the project is working its way through the early stages of the approval process — including a series of hearings at a citizen advisory committee for the Port of San Francisco, which would grant the long-term lease for the piers and control of a property across The Embarcadero.

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

San Francisco stances: City residents were more likely to support the arena after hearing details:

Position Initial After Description
Total support 68% 80%
Total oppose 18% 16%
Undecided 15% 4%

East Bay Support:Voters polled in Alameda and Contra Costa counties back the move:

Support 66%
Opposed 24%
Undecided 11%

Note: Totals exceed 100% due to rounding
Source: Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates

Neighborhood survey shows less support

An online poll conducted by neighborhood groups near the proposed Warriors arena site found that support for the project grew among people who lived as few as six blocks from the area.

The South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association received results from 741 people after
emailing the survey to 479 residents.

In the area within three blocks of the Piers 30-32 site, 44 percent of the respondents were strongly opposed to the project and 22 percent strongly favored it. However, residents just slightly farther away backed the project more.

The strongly opposed percentage dropped to 29 percent for those living six blocks away. Strong support hit 32 percent for those six blocks away.

The online poll included numbers for residents who live within three blocks of the site, six blocks, nine blocks and farther than nine. The majority of the people who responded to the survey, 57 percent, live within three blocks of Piers 30-32.

Overall, about 49 percent of the respondents oppose the project while about 45 percent approve of it.

“The goal of this survey was to see if there was an overwhelming feeling either way about the arena,” said Michael Anthony, a board member for the neighborhood association.

With the results split, he said the group, which still has concerns, will continue to meet with the team and city officials.

“It is heartening to see that about half of those immediate neighbors who were surveyed are already with us,” said PJ Johnston, a spokesman for the project. “We’re working day and night to bring along the other half, and we believe that after they learn more about the project and see its tremendous benefits we will indeed earn their support as well.”

-Mike Billings

 

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