Cheerleaders, sports announcers, players and even Mayor Ed Lee were on hand Monday to “welcome the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco,” where the team is trying to build a $1 billion waterfront arena in time to open the 2017-18 season.
The roughly 300 people at the Tip-off Lunch at a downtown hotel included a wide swath of the San Francisco business community, who ate while watching the Warriors' co-executive chairmen, Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, talk about the challenges they faced when they purchased the team three years ago and the hurdles they will have to jump to bring the team across the Bay from Oakland.
Those challenges include The City's planning process, opponents like former Mayor Art Agnos, neighbors and state regulators who have the final say on the project.
“Not everyone is going to agree,” Lacob said of the privately financed project at Piers 30-32, which is currently a parking lot. “There's going to be some people who don't like it and we can't worry about that.”
Lee, for his part, was all-in at the event, saying the arena will be nothing but a boon for The City, including fixing the site's aging piers.