Monday is the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s annual Warriors Tip-off Luncheon, uniting more than 500 members of the business community with the two time NBA championship Golden State Warriors to kick-off another exhilarating season.
The event joins superstars from the basketball world, including Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, along with legends and community ambassadors Alvin Attles and Adonal Foyle, with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and business leaders to celebrate a team that binds the Bay Area together.
While our event brings a taste of the Warriors’ magic to San Francisco, the team’s return in the 2019-20 season will solidify them in the Bay Area for decades to come. The new Chase Center in Mission Bay will further revitalize the eastern side of The City, with restaurants, cafes, offices and public plazas, as well as a new five-and-a half-acre waterfront park.
The economic reverberations from the Warriors coming back to San Francisco will ripple throughout The City. According to the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Chase Center project will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic growth for San Francisco, in addition to more than $14 million in annual tax receipts. That revenue, combined with the creation of an estimated 3,000-plus permanent jobs and 2,500-plus construction jobs, will catalyze a robust business climate in Mission Bay.
It sounds a lot like when the San Francisco Giants wanted to build in a little known area South of Market called China Basin. They imagined a place that could serve as a gathering spot for people from the entire Bay Area. Easily accessible by freeway, public transportation and ferries, what started as Pac Bell Park became a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants, businesses and homes.
During a time that is so politically polarized, the Bay Area’s professional sports teams can bring our communities together. The Warriors will join the Giants as a tremendous source of civic pride, and both reflect a deep commitment to our city. The Warriors Community Foundation is already dedicated to being a great corporate citizen, partnering with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to clean up and beautify the Potrero Hill Recreation Center and refurbishing a basketball court at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School in the Bayview.
In addition to anticipation for the Warriors’ season, our city is buzzing as October ramps up with Fleet Week and an estimated 170,000 people in town for Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference. October also means we’re getting close to Election Day. Absentee ballots hit mailboxes next week, and there is a lot at stake for the business community in the November election.
We must defeat Propositions D, H, L and M, which are political power-grabs to dilute the clout of the mayor, and support Proposition Q to establish a fair policy to transition the homeless out of tents and into housing. That’s just a sample of the 24 local measures, one regional measure and seven state measures on which the chamber took positions. Visit sfchamber.com/votingguide to learn more.
Meanwhile, Go Warriors!
Lee Blitch is interim president and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.