An Alameda Superior Court judge has denied the motions filed by the Golden State Warriors and UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood which sought to transfer the venue of a lawsuit filed by the Mission Bay Alliance, which contends that UCSF illegally signed an agreement with the Golden State Warriors to allow for the development of the Warriors’ Mission Bay Arena, from Oakland to San Francisco.

The lawsuit alleges inappropriate behavior from a number of public officials including Mayor Ed Lee, whom, according to the complaint, “threatened to retaliate against UCSF if it continued its opposition to the proposed Warrior’s stadium,” and argues that Chancellor Hawgood violated California law by acting without the authority of the UC Board of Regents and constitutes a waste of public funds as the Warriors provided no compensation for the agreement.

63 thoughts on “Judge Rules against Warriors in Bid to Move Arena Lawsuit”
  1. Too bad Salesforce CEO didn’t put conditions on his $100 million donation to UCSF for children’s hospital. He should’ve stipulated via signed contract…u get $$$ ONLY IF u don’t contest Warriors project, otherwise all funds get returned!

    1. Two things wrong with your comments: 1) Benioff didn’t give the money to UCSF because of where the Warriors would play– in fact he gave money both for Benioff Children’s Mission Bay and for Benioff Oakland Children’s. 2) UCSF supports the Warriors move to Mission Bay.

      1. But Isn’t the gist of the lawsuit that UCSF supports it only b/c they were intimidated into doing so ?? (not saying this is so, just that this is the contention).
        Not that SSFb’s suggestion makes much sense, since it would mean there would be two guns pointed at their head(s)….not to mention the bad P/R of a donation being tied to real estate development.

        1. UCSF was intimidated to support the arena? Exactly how are they going to prove that in a conclusive way? Language is often very subjective and open to interpretation and proving intimidation is going to be difficult.

          1. @Jennifer Wade

            You have *allegations* of intimidation and threats. Like Paragraph 51 (“On information and belief, Mayor Lee continued to improperly exert pressure on UCSF”) and paragraph 57 (“On information and belief, Mayor Lee . . . communicated that he would not introduce legislation to the Board of Supervisors to adequately fund transportation improvements for Mission Bay and/or he would demand millions of dollars in ‘contributions’ from UCSF”).

            Allegations and evidence are two very different things.

          2. Yes, several points are “on information and belief,” and are likely to be substantiated through discovery. But there is also the threatening letter from Ed Lee, the list of UCSF’s demands that mysteriously evaporated during negotiations, and of course the horribly lopsided MOU itself (which is literally “Exhibit A” in the complaint I linked earlier!).

            I can only think of 3 possible explanations as to why the chancellor would sign the MOU: 1. he is utterly incompetent, 2. he doesn’t care about the hospital, or 3. he was pressured, and signed it for the greater good of the institution.

          3. Why do you characterize’s Lee’s letter as threatening? Because it points out UCSF’s own infrastructure imprint?

          4. Why on earth else would Lee bring UCSF’s tax status up in that context if not to say “that’s a pretty nice tax-exempt status you’ve got there…it would be a shame if something were to happen to it”?

          5. @Jennifer Wade. No one considers that letter a threat other than those opposed to the arena. That is why no other news organization ran with that letter. The link to the CC Bee is the only place you find that posted… I’m still trying to understand the logic in your argument against the stadium? The horrendous traffic during base ball games is acceptable, but traffic for the arena with a third the attendance is life threatening. (The Warriors already committed to not have overlaping events with Giants and even gave UCSF the ability to stop overlapping events with Giants games).

          6. Why? because he specifically addresses a point made regarding UCSF’s zero impact statement.

            Your point merely echoes a biased editorial.

          7. BJ, please read the MOU. It specifically states the the Warriors WILL have overlapping games with the Giants and UCSF has no power to stop it, even if people die as a result. All they can do is call a meeting.

          8. Your only point seems to be that people going to die because of all the traffic during the spring when the sports teams overlap for a few weeks. And it isn’t even an emergency hospital?

          9. @BJ, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Mayor’s letter as a threat: “It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see what he’s saying — just so you know, UCSF, this could be financially painful.”
            @OC, it is an Emergency Hospital.

            Folks, the Warriors own EIR explains they expect the traffic will be much worse for about a half mile in all directions when the Warriors have a game or a major event. Neither side disputes that. The people that post on here like it won’t matter either for access to the hospital or other places in the area just undermine their credibility.

            The only issue is whether it will be so bad that it should not be allowed. And we don’t have standards for that. How much added delay is ok for emergency vehicles? How many additional thousands of SF commuter hours delayed per year are ok? SF approves many projects knowing full well they will violate the official congestion and MUNI performance targets for SF, but $$$$. Mo $$$$.

          10. No, it has emergency. I’ve taken my child there. It is not an emergency, or trauma hospital. Those patients will be taken to the new Zuckerberg Trauma Center at Mission General hospital.

          11. ok now you’re just repeating yourself, Jennifer Wade. You’ve not made any point from which to draw those conclusions.

          12. ““It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see what he’s saying ”

            That’s not reportage. That’s editorial opinion. You are not backing up what you’re saying. Sorry, I think you mean well. I think you’re being used.

          13. Children’s Emergency, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital; Hours: 24 hours a day, every day.

            Video of “An Emergency Department Just for Kids” at namelink. Good to know if you have children.

          14. Yes, again, it has an emergency center. I’ve taken my child there. However it iis not a trauma center. One would not take a person in a life and death situation there.

            Unless your point is that the injured person can only go to there because is a hypothetical severe situation which occurred much closer UCSF children’s hospital. Therefore going to the Zuckerberg trauma center within the extra time it requires will result in loss of life? Perhaps you could also then run the corresponding percentages with regard to loss of life and hospital proximity? The Mission Bay Alliance seemingly did not have that data.

          15. Uh, yes so you agree: it is an Emergency Hospital. How about that.

            All my visits with my child to the UCSF emergency room have been for non-trauma life-threatening emergencies, like can’t breathe. If your kid has a trauma emergency, then head for SF General. Asthma attack, whooping cough…UCSF Mission Bay.

            Call that SFChron published article what you will. If you are looking for high journalism in the Bay Area, gooood luck. Regardless, the Mayor’s letter was obviously threatening, though the ability of an SF mayor to do much more than threaten is unlikely to be tested.

            Thanks for the concern, but I’m not being used. I’m not even opposed to the Warriors stadium in this location. I am opposed to the inadequate transportation planning that goes with it and with so much of SF development. And I am also opposed to people handwaving away the traffic problems with disinformation and ignoring what even the Warriors forecast.

          16. Most hospitals have emergency. Surely you know that. What Jennifer Wade was doing was trying to portray it as if a child’s life would be lost due to gridlock. Again, feel free to show any data supporting same. As to your citation, it’s not a matter of calling that article what I will. It was editorial opinion and that is an objective fact. Nor is it a matter of looking for high journalism, as you cited the Chron, not I. And your opinion of the mayor’s words as threat remains opinion.

          17. Ohlone, UCSF Mission Bay doesn’t just “have an emergency department.” It is the ONLY nationally ranked children’s hospital in the entire city, the ONLY one that has virtually every pediatric specialty imaginable (cardiologists, neurologists, oncologists, etc.) on duty 24 hours a day, and it is the ONLY children’s hospital in the city that treats rare and serious conditions. It is also the only nationally-ranked maternity hospital in the city.

            If a child in San Francisco has a grand mal seizure, stroke, severe asthma attack, anaphylactic shock, etc., their best chance for survival is to get to one place as quickly as possible: UCSF.

          18. You’re inventing things I said, equating things I did not say, drawing your own conclusions about speed of care and how trauma care works versus emergency, and then taking all those disparate notions to form a conclusion.

            I didn’t say it only has an emergency department.

            I didn’t say it is not a great children’s hospital.

            The child’s best chance for immediate survival would be to be rushed to the trauma center. Afterward they would be admitted to UCSF Children’s hospital.

            You simply have not made the point you think you have made.

          19. “Most hospitals have emergency. Surely you know that.” Yeah, I do, and I did know it for this specific Emergency Hospital, which is why I mentioned it. Apparently you do and did too. Yet, you insisted it wasn’t and didn’t. Took a couple attempts to even get you close to admitting it. Facts, not opinions.

            But, you want “data” to prove something will happen in the future, even though you steadfastly ignore the Warrior’s own “data” that forecasts delays. Delays which will affect emergency access despite the current mitigation plan. And you can look it up. The Warriors forecast their attendees will cause additional delays at intersections that feed this Emergency Hospital and are not included in the mitigation plans. But then that is their expert opinion, as stated in their EIR, which is a fact. Beyond that, what do you want, a mortality tabulation?

            Besides, I am not trying to make Jennifer’s case. I am confident that an adequate transportation and congestion mitigation plan could deal with her concerns. I am not confident that SF or the Warriors will go that far. They certainly haven’t so far, anyway. All the folks that just handwave away the issue or demand “data” while ignoring the Warrior’s own forecast, merely make it less likely SF or the Warriors will.

            As I have pointed out several times on SS, the overbuilding underway in Showplace Sq compared to the nearly non-existent transportation upgrades will also make access much worse.

            I’ve lived near South Park for over 20 years. There have been many times when the traffic was so bad that I could walk faster than an emergency vehicle I saw make it’s way through the last couple blocks and onto the bridge. We already have these conditions in eastern SoMa on bad (game/weather/accident) days, we may get them in and around MB too.

          20. Ohlone, you could not be more completely wrong. Trauma centers are for INJURIES. Seriously, google it. For an ILLNESS, you do not take a child to a trauma center.

            SFGH is, of course, also an emergency hospital, and it does have some ability to treat emergency illness in children, but it is not an area of specialty for that hospital.

          21. I’m not wrong. One does not rush anyone who might otherwise die without urgent care to UCSF Children’s hospital. And that was your point.

          22. jennifer, thanks for trying to screw up our city through useless lawsuits. you should be ashamed of your behavior to stall an important civic project

          23. Whenever there’s discussion of the time it would take an ambulance to reach the hospital, it has always struck me:

            What about suburban and rural locations? Obviously, there are plenty of places where ambulance response times are far longer than anywhere in the city, traffic or no. And arguing for density limitations on the grounds that ambulances will be delayed simply means that more people will be forced to live and work in distant, low-density locations, and will also suffer from long response times (among other things). IMO, it’s far easier to deal with traffic problems in the city (for example, by placing and enforcing transit-only lanes which can also be used by emergency vehicles), than it is to deal with the problem of an emergency being 20 miles away from the nearest hospital (never mind a pediatric-specialty emergency room or whatever).

  2. Mayor Ed needs to get ahead of this and get the Giants and Warriors organizations together to develop Seawall 337/Lot A together. It’s stupid he hasn’t tried this before. The current plan the Giants have for Seawall 337/Lot A can be switched down to Warriors arena site. There are lots of obstacles to this plan, but it makes the most sense. Both the Giants and Warriors owe it to the City to bring something great and look beyond their parochial interests. Mayor Ed, get to work!!!

    1. The cost to fix the seawall is nearly insurmountable with estimates of over $200 million. That’s before you build anything or address the neighbors who don’t want an arena in their neighborhood.

    2. SWL 337 made more sense for a stadium – and Mayor Lee could have made that deal happen. Oh well. Short sighted planning by SF. Gotta wonder who he listens to for advice on these land use matters.

  3. Once and for all can the Mission Bay Alliance please outline exactly what their end game is for this complaint? A very big SHOULD you emerge wholly or partially victorious and the GSW Warriors development does not take place, what then would you NOT object to, given the fact that the parcel would still be privately held and likely sold to another developer (again SHOULD you be victorious). Zoning does not call for Residential (i do not believe) and a wholly commercial development would seemingly only invite the same congestion you are against, throughout the entirety of the day, and since GSW would not be compelled to sell to anyone of your choosing (UCSF) what then?

    There is so much NIMBYism when it comes to the Mission Bay Alliance, and yet by its own webpage its sole mission is simply that against the GSW development and all without any subsequent mission statement as to what they hope to accomplish by their actions for Mission Bay as a whole other than stopping development. Again, should you stop THIS development, another development is likely to emerge, and if they are going to argue about intimidation have they even considered the light they have exposed themselves to? I’m not sure it is supposed to be a compelling argument when on their website there is has a graphic stating the stadium is 0 blocks from the cancer treatment hospital when their board seemingly has little connection to the purpose of the hospital which is entirely contained to the INTERIOR of the hospital which is CARE. And level of care and service provided within a hospital is hardly contingent upon surrounding facilities…unless that is to suggest that the level of care at the CPMC hospitals, or SF General is jeopardized by their locations which are not easily accessed…or am I suddenly supposed to believe that after 40 years in San Francisco that I just have never found the easy access road to the Parnassus campus?

    1. If the parcel was built as all office as previously proposed by Salesforce and as previously planned, then it would not cause the severe traffic congestion the Warriors forecast for the hour or two before and after an event.

      1. So steady congestion in a year round condition is better than 1-2 hours around specific events that might occur once a week for a few months of the year?

        1. First, office buildings don’t create “steady congestion.”

          Second, the Warriors expect to have about 200 events per year spread out throughout the year, not “for a few months of the year.” And almost all of these events are planned to start at ~7 PM which is just about the worst timing for the workday PM commute.

          Third, the Warriors plan to build offices as part of their project. Perhaps about a third of what would have been built by Salesforce.

          Fourth, if you actually care enough to look you could check the Warriors EIR to see how much traffic their office space will generate, the kinds of trips, and time of day. Then just multiply that by about 3 and you will see the difference from what they forecast for their current plan.

          FWIW, I’ve explained the basics of this on Socketsite going all the way back to when the Warriors first bought this parcel from Salesforce. Though I originally left out the contribution from their office buildings which they had not announced yet.

        2. Actually it is being built as “all office as previously proposed by Salesforce” PLUS – the Arena. So it is all the office traffic – plus the stadium traffic on top of that.

          How do they fit the square feet on the site? Salesforce proposed 4/5 story buildings. The Warriors are proposing 10 to 15 stories for the office. The Arena is a lot of cubic feet – but not that many square feet. And square feet is what counts at Mission Bay.

    2. Its also important to point out that the Mission Bay Alliance is also suing to stop the office development that is part of the arena development. First they say they want to stop the arena because it will create traffic problem access to the hospital and now their suing to stop the office development which proves their first concern is bogus.

      The idea that traffic from the proposed Warriors arena at Mission Bay is going endanger patient access to the hospital is total nonsense. Assuming that the new arena has 200 events a year with each event generating 2 hours of traffic per event that translates to 400 hours of traffic a year. There are 8,760 hours in a year which means that 96 percent of the time the hospital will not be impacted by arena traffic in any way. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles will have dedicated traffic lanes to the hospital. The Mission Bay Alliance could not document even ONE case of ANYONE dying on their way to the hospital because they were delayed due to traffic generated by a sports arena.

      The Warriors’ proposed event center is estimated to create 2,700 full-time jobs, and up to an additional 1,100 well-paying jobs on event days. The cost to the public? A one-time $55.3 million investment in transit improvements that will serve the entire southeast side of the city paid for from project fees and an on-going revenue stream from the Warriors’ mixed-use development. San Francisco’s independent controller estimates that, after these capital and transit operating expenses are met, an additional $5.4 million a year will go into the city’s general fund and charter-established special funds, such as the Library, Children’s and Open Space funds. Lets get on with this.

      1. Edward, do you work for PJ Johnston? I ask because I have seen you post some version of this same comment dozens of times now, at sfist, on sfgate (as ParksideEd), and elsewhere. Clearly, your interest is more than casual (mine is, too, and that’s why I am transparent about using my real name).

        Anyway, I question your traffic math, but even if it were true, there seems to be a troubling presumption among arena supporters that it is OK to create hopelessly gridlocked traffic near an ER as long as it only happens a small portion of the time. Medical emergencies happen at all times, including before and after basketball games. Is building a new arena for a team that already exists in the Bay Area really worth even one child’s life?

        1. Why do you continue to suggest that a child’s life would be in jeopardy, at all? The Mission Bay Allliance couldn’t even cite a case.

        2. Jennifer, if the arena doesn’t get built, there could be some children whose parents remain unemployed instead of working on the new construction. Is stopping this arena so important that you want children to starve for it?

        3. I thought that the gridlock question is completely addressed by the ability of emergency vehicles to use the T Third protected lanes? Can someone address that?

          1. that only helps for access north and south along 3rd st, not access from the west. Showplace Sq and western SoMa are headed for gridlock and/or much worse congestion than now. Also, they are going to be running as many trains as possible for the games. It also doesn’t help when you are in your car trying to get your child to the emergency room.

          2. Hey @Jake, I took a quick look at the Western SoMa area plan PDF. There seems to be some traffic calming planned, which I would assume is one of reasons you’re pointing out growing congestion in that particular area.

            It may be time for the city planners to re-investigate this concept, since my assumption is that if we don’t artificially constrict traffic flow, we should receive some unknown amount of congestion relief. And I’d toss in the whole 2nd street plan as well, since it could contribute (peripherally) to the congestion.

          3. If you are coming from the west and your kid is in serious life threatening trouble, you will drive your car right up to the emergency entrance at general hospital.

          4. @CToCN, the area trisected by 101 and 80 is not well served by transit, but is getting a large portion of the new development, both under construction and proposed. It is the last remaining big swath of PDR north of Dogpatch. With 101 getting congested for longer parts of the day, the surface streets around there carry more of the through traffic plus the added load from the new development. Increasing congestion is all but assured. Plans for traffic calming may make the streets more pedestrian friendly, but don’t address how to increase throughput, such as adding a subway under Folsom, or resolving how the different street grids mate awkwardly.

            @OC, sure there are other hospitals in SF, but as Jennifer mentions this one is the best for some emergencies. Also, Warriors traffic will further congest central and western SoMa, adding delay getting to SFGH from SoMa as well.

            But to be clear, if a child needs to get to a hospital from around Bessie Carmichael Elem your solution would be to bypass the physically closer and more capable emergency room at UCSF because Warriors game congestion and settle for SFGH. Lovely.

            The simple fact is that the Warriors complex will degrade access to the hospital beyond what it would be for almost any other possible use of that land. SFMTA, the Warriors, the Mayor, UCSF, and just about everyone else knows that. We also know how to mitigate the problem fully, but we aren’t going to go that far because the increased risk to the health of children just ain’t worth it. And that is a judgement of politics not actuarials.

          5. you say more capable emergency and increased risk, yes. you say it over and over again. doesn’t mean it’s anything worthwhile.

          6. Yeah, the health of children, who could imagine that could be “worthwhile.” Well, guess what, the Warriors own traffic study in their EIR forecast such an adverse impact that the SF City govt plans to spend $55+ million to mitigate a portion of the congestion the Warriors will create. I think more money should be spent before they open and if not it will eventually get spent by the taxpayers in the years after. If citizen pressure can get more of that from the GSW Sports LLC and get it spent sooner, then great and very worthwhile.

          7. evidently they’ve been worth your while to respond to, though your responses have been remarkably vacuous and in error. Hopefully, at least now you and/or other readers know to take a child in an emergency to UCSF Children’s Hospital instead of SFGH, traffic allowing.

          8. remember 10 posts ago when I told you I’d taken my kid there previously, Jake? remember that? yeah, that, again. But if it was a life threatening situation I would have driven to General, as one does. Or called an ambulance, which would have gone to General, as they do.

          9. Yes, I know you wrote that you’d been there, which makes it all the more remarkable that you don’t understand that for a life threatening situation you should drive your child to UCSF, not SFGH. Not that SFGH is a bad hospital, but UCSF has better facilities and staff to handle a medical emergency for your child, unless it is trauma. Just because you’ve been there doesn’t mean you know everything about it.

            Ambulances do take children to UCSF Children’s Hospital. SF is planning to accommodate that during Warriors games with some lane restrictions and extra officers at key intersections.

            Throughout your exchange here with me and with Jennifer you have been consistently and stubbornly wrong about the role of UCSF’s Mission Bay Hospital. For example, your wrote: “One does not rush anyone who might otherwise die without urgent care to UCSF Children’s hospital.” Of course you are wrong. That is exactly what you should do if the person is a child. It is not just that you are wrong, you are dangerously wrong. That is why it is worthwhile to correct your many misstatements about UCSF Children’s Hospital.

        4. Jennifer: Please cite just one example anywhere in the country over the past 50 years where somebody died because they could not get to the hospital due to traffic generated by a sports arena? Just one example will do.

          1. Summary: “The estimated effect of a 1 min reduction in response time was to improve the odds of survival by 24%”.

    1. The Mission Bay Alliance is fighting that idea, too. And it doesn’t seem to be too popular among the general public.

  4. A couple things about this ruling. It just involved a motion to move the case from Alameda Superior Court to San Francisco Superior Court – i.e. where the case will be litigated. It had nothing to do with the merits of the claims. Also, in this type of case, there is no jury. The judge decides. So this motion did not involve an attempt to seek a more favorable SF jury pool (e.g. that an Oakland jury would want to delay the move). Alameda Superior Court has fine judges, including the assigned judge. This particular ruling is much ado about nothing.

  5. …and again the Mission Bay Alliance still has not stated what its end goal is! All this worry talk about children succumbing to illness while in a car, makes me think there should be some kind of emergency service where if your child is in danger you could call this service. Maybe with some kind of easy universal three digit number even. This service using some kind of alerting device could then come to you and not be subject to all the regulations of the road in an effort to expedite getting a child to a hospital. If only that existed.

    Best i can tell MBA is against the Arena, against any infill of the parcel that may not serve its own purposes and against any proposed changes to I-280. At what point did MBA decide that a private hospital that was granted land, was subsequently also the City Planning Agency and in control of development for parcels and development in its periphery. Whats next will MBA challenge the development of Pier 70 should they decide to construct in a way that could bring congestion to the area…you know something that goes hand and hand with DEVELOPMENT.

    1. Be careful what you settle for: Bayview has among the worst ambulance response times in San Francisco. SF has failed to meet state standards for years. The SF Civil Grand Jury found that inadequate planning and population growth were among the causes. “It’s disturbing, appalling and unacceptable – but not surprising,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen.

      Best as I can tell, many people that yell about DEVELOPMENT can’t tell the difference between development with and without adequate infrastructure and planning.

  6. Mission Bay Alliance is a vexatious litigant. Their case should be thrown out and they should be fined for bringing a nuisance lawsuit.

    1. Which of the actions do they qualify under?

      I don’t think a newly formed group could be a VL, as the very definition of the word seems to require prior – and ajudicated – activity.

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