Warriors target Jan. 17 for arena groundbreaking

The Golden State Warriors Tuesday¬†said they will break ground on their planned new arena project in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood on Jan. 17.

The 11-acre project at 16th and Third streets includes an 18,000-seat arena, which will be called the Chase Center, and 600,000 square feet of office spaces, as well as a new 5.5-acre park, officials said.

The project was approved by the Board of Supervisors in December of 2015 but has been delayed until now by litigation.

Warriors Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts said in a statement:

“We have been looking forward to this day since we first had the vision of building a privately financed state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco.”

A group called the Mission Bay Alliance, which says it is made up of University of California at San Francisco donors, stakeholders, physicians and faculty members, has filed multiple lawsuits challenging the project, alleging that it will hurt emergency response times and access to the neighboring UCSF Medical Center, especially on game days.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge in July rejected two lawsuits the group had filed challenging the city’s environmental review and approval process. The Mission Bay Alliance appealed, but that appeal was rejected in November.

The group also also filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging that UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood did not have the legal authority to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Warriors agreeing to traffic mitigations for the project.

Despite the challenges, however, the project has had strong backing from local and state officials, including Mayor Ed Lee.

Lee said in a statement:

“This new venue will not only ensure our beloved Warriors remain in the Bay Area, but it will fill a void in San Francisco’s portfolio of arts and events facilities. … It will provide enormous economic benefits, including thousands of new jobs and millions in new tax revenues for The City. And the Warriors are doing it the right way – financing this arena entirely without public funding.”