All signs point to a new horizon for The Golden State Warriors with Chase Center set to open in September, including, as of Thursday, street signs in Mission Bay, which now read “Warriors Way” instead of “South Street.”
What used to be South Street is now Warriors Way, which intersects Terry A. Francois Blvd. along the water’s edge next to the Chase Center. Chief Operating Officer and President of the Warriors, Rick Welts, unveiled the new street sign early Thursday morning. Along with Welts appeared Viktoriya Wise, chief of staff of sustainable streets for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Elaine Forbes, executive director for the Port of San Francisco, Mohammed Nuru who serves as the Director of Public Works in San Francisco.
Welts tugged at a rope to unveil the new sign, and was all smiles. He went on to talk about the impact that this will have on San Francisco and the Warriors:
“It will be everywhere you look, when you search Warriors Way on any of your apps, you’re going to find the spot we’re standing on right here … It’s quite a process like everything is in San Francisco, but we’ve had the wonderful support from the three mayors and The Board of Supervisors.”
The honor of having a street named after the basketball team runs deep into the community, with the sense of being in place for the long run. Welts reflected on what it means for the team:
“It’s pretty special to have a street named after the Warriors. This is our original home when we first moved from Philadelphia, it’ll be our home for decades in the future. When you come to a Warriors game to be able to travel on Warriors Way, it really feels like home now. “
Criticism has swirled when it comes to traffic around Mission Bay, Oracle Park and now, Chase Center. Public transportation makes it a little easier for fans around the Bay Area, but there is still the question of accessibility. Welts responded:
“First of all, I’d say do take public transit. We announced last week an incredibly innovative program that, I hope, makes a difference which is every ticket to Chase Center. So, Warriors games and concerts, anything else is good for free roundtrip transportation on Muni on the day of the event. … We can’t solve San Francisco’s traffic problems, but we think we’ve mitigated them to the greatest extent possible. There will be a learning curve.”
Of course, obstacles have arisen when it comes to public transit, specifically getting to Chase Center. Welts expressed disappointment the delays in a key upcoming project:
“The Central Subway was supposed to be completed by the time this project opened and was part of our original plan. Now, that’s not coming, at least, for a few months. “
Welts was adamant about public transportation and says that it would be the most convenient way to travel to the Chase Center. There are plenty of outlets for people to use to make their way to a Warriors game:
“I would urge everyone to take public transportation, we have three hundred bike valet spots, if you want to ride your bike. You can actually walk to Chase Center from a lot of places in The City.”
The new Chase Center is set to open September 6, with a concert featuring Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony, which is already sold out. September 3 marks ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new arena. Welts gets the keys to it this week.