Warriors Mission Bay Arena Rendering: 11/3/15

A second lawsuit designed to block, or at least delay, the Golden State Warriors’ proposed San Francisco arena and office complex to rise in Mission Bay has been filed by the Mission Bay Alliance in Sacramento Superior Court.

As expected, the new suit is a California Environmental Quality Act based challenge.  And while the Warriors’ development has been certified an Environmental Leadership Project by Governor Brown, which requires environmental-based challenges to be resolved within a year, according to the Business Times and the spokesperson for the Alliance, the soonest a judge is expected to be able to rule on the new suit is November 2016.

And if the Warriors Arena development hasn’t broken ground by mid-2016, the arena won’t be ready in time for the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Warriors Mission Bay Arena Interior Rendering

The Alliance’s first lawsuit challenging the arena was filed in Alameda Superior Court last month and has yet to be resolved or dismissed. And as we first reported last year, don’t be surprised if a number of other legal challenges are waiting in the wings.

46 thoughts on “Second Lawsuit to Block or Delay Warriors Arena Now in Play”
  1. The soonest a judge would be able to rule is November 2016? Does anyone know if this is true or not? Or is it just Sam Singer’s usual spin? You would think the Warriors would be able to petition for an expedited case. Because if the November part is true, that’s a big win for the MBA.

    1. Not a “big win” but what one might reasonably expect. From the outset, Warriors ownership has displayed some mighty unrealistic expectations in their goals and time lines beginning with the apparent assumption that Piers 30 / 32 were their’s for the taking. The 2018 season tipoff ain’t going to happen.

      That said, I continue to be amazed at how openly cavalier the Mission Bay Alliance spokespeople are in their use of the threat of litigation seeking to gain leverage. Courts generally are not very receptive to such an approach.

  2. The November date precludes the Warriors from breaking ground in 2016. Whatever the judge rules, it will be appealed. Another years delay or more.

    At some point IMO the Warriors will pull out of this plan. They are not likely to wait for or 5 years to get a final OK.

    At that point Coliseum City could really take off. A grand scheme that some find too much right now but if the Warriors decide to stay in Oakland and become a part of a CC then all bets are off.

    Coliseum City has (would have) much better transportation access and would be a magnificent sports hub for the Bay Area.

    1. Dave, there are a few cards missing from your deck. There is no way the warriors are pulling out of this deal and going back to Oakland – its just completely not reality. CC is not reality.

      The coliseum is one of several projects that the governor fast tracked. This fast tracking means that any court MUST rule on any legal challenge in 290 days. Your example of waiting five years is pure fantasy.

        1. Sure, other legal challenges, but on what grounds would these other challenges stand? I really can’t think of other challenges that aren’t roughly the same “issues” as this one and hence would have to be resolved just as quickly. If true, how long can this back and forth go on?

          1. At some point the courts will recognize that the goal of these litigants is purely just to delay the project, and they will cease to be effective. The arena enjoys immense popularity, and there is a reason that the “Mission bay alliance” has chosen to cloak itself in complete anonymity. My sense is that when their identity is revealed, whatever minimal support they have from the “no to anything anywhere ever” crowd will be neutralized. IT’s kind of funny to watch people fall all over themselves to dream up scenarios where this arena wont get built. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that the plot of land the arena will go on could fall off the peninsula

          2. Agreed, these challenges will be dismissed and viewed by most as vindictive! What needs to happen is ALL names of high rollers who are opposing must be listed with their mug shots. Social media is great to allow the public to be judge and jury…kinda like Nancy Grace!!! hahaha

          3. Perhaps the City could again rezone this property to allow residential use underscoring to the MBA principals that they are never going to get their hands on it for the ostensible purpose of med-bio use collateral to UCSF.

            However, my personal preference would be for the housing component of the Giants’ proposed Mission Rock to be built on the old Salesforce property and the arena located on Lot A. The Warriors current site is marginally “acceptable” at best.

          4. The secondary use classification is actually a component of the lawsuit filed last week.

    2. Agreed! They should stay in Oakland. They’ll def have an easier time getting a new stadium here and would be better on all fronts.

      1. Easier time getting a stadium there? Oakland is struggling just to figure out how to build something for the Raiders, and the A’s.

        1. That’s not really accurate. Oakland is having trouble getting something built for the Raiders and the A’s that a) is acceptable to the teams and b) doesn’t require public funds. The Warriors project in San Francisco is not reliant at all on public funds, its a purely private play. If ANY of the teams wanted to stay in Oakland and didn’t demand public funds to rebuild, the City would fall over itself to accommodate them.

          1. Warriors are getting 500-600 hundred million dimes upfront and another 100+ million dimes per year, according to the SF Budget and Legislative Analyst November 6, 2015 report:

            – SFMTA’s estimated costs to purchase four new light rail vehicles and make other transportation system improvements to accommodate the Warriors Project are $55.3 million.
            – City departments’ estimated annual expenditures to provide services to the Warriors Project are $10.1 million.

            BTW, these costs are comparable to what the Giants got and get for pacbell/att park. The Giants also got some tax breaks that haven’t been given to the Warriors, yet.

          2. That’s not the same thing as “getting up front.” Spending on new infrastructure is spending on new infrastructure.

          3. This $55+ million will be spent by SF taxpayers as incremental additional spending required only if the Warriors build an arena. This spending would not be required if they develop it as office space as previously planned and zoned. If the Warriors do not build this arena, then SF will not spend this money.

            Please spare us the “a is a” mindless tautologies. That’s just a way of saying you got nothing to add, but feel you need to share it with us.

            Spending $55+ million on infrastructure for the benefit of a single corporation and their customers is not the same as spending it on facilities shared more widely. SFMTA has a long list of worthy projects delayed or discarded by lack of funding.

            SF will spend this $55+ million “upfront” before opening day for the arena. It is baked into the approved EIR. And this $55+ million upfront plus the additional $10+ million per year will not be enough to mitigate the traffic impact of the arena, according to the approved EIR. Just like the Giants, much of the congestion costs will not be accounted for or charged to the Warriors, and the wider community will pay them instead. Privatize the profits, socialize the costs, as much as politically possible.

            For all that, this is still a better deal than SF gave the Giants and it is much better than Santa Clara gave the 9ers.

          4. Actually, it’s not the same thing as that. That’s not what up front means, plain and simple. SF will gain an arena,housing, jobs, tax revenue. SF will pay for the infrastructure to move people to and from the area. It will also gain over a long time horizon.

          5. SF is planning to spend the $55 million before the Warriors open the arena, else carmageddon. Notice the before part. Before, as in: in advance, in or at the front, aka upfront also spelled up front. Or so sayeth Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, etc, etc, etc. Their acts of definition, not mine, actually.

            Regardless of whatever benefits you think SF will gain, surely the Warriors are not gifting the arena to the city. This isn’t like the donation to the City of San Francisco from the Kezar estate to build a stadium nearly 100 years ago. A stadium that is still owned by the the City of San Francisco and free for the public to visit.

            In plain language, the Warriors will gain an arena and charge the rest of us to visit.

            The fact is that the San Francisco taxpayers are on the hook to spend $55 million upfront and out-of-pocket plus another $10 million/year for the life of the arena. That’s the direct cost tab according to the official budget analysis, plain and simple.

            John Ehrlichman snottily: How do you know that, Mr. Chairman?
            Senator Sam Ervin: Because I can understand the English language. It’s my mother tongue.

          6. Yes, I understand your point. Again, that’s not an upfront cost in this context. Feel free to write more politely when you disagree, if you like.

          7. Well, you are certainly free and (editor willing) welcome to share your errancy. And to be upfront about it, quite errant it has been in this context. Repeating the same mistake over and over does not make it any less so. Aside from offering a tautology of depth and claiming to understand my “point” while obsessing ad nauseam to miscorrect the use of an adverb, there doesn’t seem to be much in your posts to respond to, politely or elsewise.

          8. It’s very simple really. You keep repeating your take as well. Your take is to try to use the phrase up front to mean an ancillary cost to the municipality, transportation infrastructure. Then, being quite argumentative apparently, you make an argument as if my point was one about grammatical correctness. I did not say that. I said context. The point is the context of municipalities and sports teams, and what “up front” has come to mean. In that context, a generally well known context I should think, often municipalities pay for the very stadium, or pay the teams directly. That’s not this case. So no, it’s hardly up front. Also, again, San Francisco gains an arena, and San Francisco gains new office space, and housing, all taxable, on what is currently completely underutilized land.

    3. coliseum city won’t happen. this warriors arena will happen. 99%.

      There is a reasonable chance the raiders and A’s will be gone from Oakland in 5 yrs

    4. Warriors are not staying in Oakland. The owners are already billionaires who don’t care about money. They just want to see their vision of Warriors in SF coming true. The Governor himself is expediting the project. It’s happening whether you like it or not.

  3. I’d take the comment about November 2016 with a grain of salt. Filing a lawsuit has no impact at all – it is just a piece of paper at this point. Unless the court grants a temporary retraining order or preliminary injunction, nothing at all is halted.* Nor does an appeal have any effect in the absence of an injunction. I don’t see anything indicating that a TRO or preliminary injunction has been obtained, or even requested – that is the event to look for. Unless and until the court issues such an order, it is business as usual for construction.

    * unless there is some CEQA-specific procedure that I’m not aware of in which the mere filing of a lawsuit has the effect of an injunction.

    1. Yes, but.

      Do they go ahead with the considerable expense of commencing construction with the uncertainty of the ultimate result of litigation looming?

      Case in point. The developers of 706 Mission (the Mexican Museum/condo development ) bravely claimed they would proceed with construction beginning last summer notwithstanding pending litigation. After a ceremonial “groundbreaking,” nothing happened and there currently is a potential settlement in the works which will finally clear the way to actual construction.

      Do not be too surprised to see a similar delay pushing work beyond a date making an 11/18 opening impossible.

      1. I deal with this all the time. If the Warriors place a low risk of success on this lawsuit on the merits, they will ignore it and move ahead. If they place a high risk on it, they will hold off. They have the resources to do a proper assessment.

  4. There is no chance of a new Warriors arena being ready for the 2018 season. Not to mention, financing costs are likely to very meaningfully increase before construction is finished and the entire project will need to be re-penciled. I’d give them a 50% chance of ever getting the arena buit in SF.

    1. The Warriors are not going to spend millions of dollars on legal fees, architects fees, consultant fees, etc, just for the fun of it–they are going to get it built, perhaps not in 2018, but probably no later than 2020. They were well aware of the near certainty of lawsuits over any large development proposal in litigious San Francisco, and I am sure they penciled in the cost of defending these lawsuits and also the cost of delays to building.

      Everyone seems to act as if these lawsuits were some sort of surprise. No they were not, and certainly not to the Warriors.

    1. The City and UCSF hospital have signed off on the Warrior’s traffic plans yet you insist on more? So how many studies and court cases have to happen before the Warriors can have a final decision?

      Are you part of the Mission Bay Alliance opposing this project?

    1. But will it be a “great benefit” to Warrior’s fans, and if so which ones, the current ones – who are geographically and economically dispersed, and have a multitude of transportation options at the current location – or high-income SFers who’ll just Uber down from their pied-a-terre when they’re in town??

        1. The Warriors EIR forecast ~30% of game attendees would come from SF, about the same from the east bay, a little less from south of SF, the rest from north bay and out of the area.

      1. my guess is it will be geogrpahiccally a more diverse crowd coming to SF because most people outside oakland don’t want to go to oakland. SF will draw people from Marin and Peninsula, as well as others who might come from further away for a tourist game. Also, probably more fans from other teams would want to visit SF>

        1. The EIR estimate (V3 Table 5.2 which I assume is the same one Jake used) shows the Eastbay going from 53>31% and SF going from 16>29% (they even thoughtfully broke it out by Supervisorial District) … in short it’s designed to double SF and cut the Eastbay in half: if that’s you’re definition of “more diverse”, then yes.

          1. A more equal distribution of fans from different parts of the Bay Area would be a form of increased diversity, yes.

            And I don’t know why people try to act like SF proper isn’t diverse (yes Oakland is more diverse racially and economically, but SF is hardly lacking in that department), or that warriors fans will magically stop coming from elsewhere in the bay area or Nor Cal. So the fan base at your average game will probably become a bit less black and a bit more white and asian. I’m gonna guess the proportion of latinos will stay roughly the same. Yeah, there will likely be more fans going who were previously too snobbish/scared to go to games in Oakland, and who see SF through rose-colored glasses. Combine that with higher ticket prices, and that definitely means some more upper class fans in attendance, IMO….but It’s not like the majority of the crowd will be high-income SFers. The “everyone in SF is rich” stereotype is tired, and the fan base will stay very diverse, there’s no question about it. Aside from the fan makeup at games, the fan base should barely change at all anyways. Hell it’s not like they’re moving to Siberia. They’re moving 10 miles away to the city right next door…which is where they started in the Bay Area in the first place LOL

          2. @Notcom, and depending how you want to slice and dice diversity, don’t forget the diverse use cases for the arena outside of NBA basketball. There will be concerts, corporate events, family shows, etc that will pull in an even greater diversity of people to the area from not just the bay area, but beyond as well.

          3. Oh, and I forgot to mention as one of the diverse use cases for the arena beyond basketball is the rumor I heard that the San Jose Barracudas may be considering the arena home as well. Hockey in San Francisco…

          4. Yes, I would expect more people in SF would attend games if the arena were located in SF–should that surprise anyone? Also, how is that a problem? You point to the EIR attendance estimate as if the projected numbers prove something either (A) shocking or (B) undersirable, but they do not. Again, try thinking logically and it will cause you less distress.

      2. Honey, there are not that many millionaires with pied-a-terre’s in the city to make an arena viable. The Warriors would not waste TONS of money building an arena if they only thought a few rich folks would attend a game when they happen to be in town–that is not going to sell nearly enough tickets to make a stadium financially feasible. Notcom, use logic, even to your ears, your comment must sound absurd.

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