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UCSF, Lee announce new Warriors arena deal

Proposed Golden State Warriors arena

The path to a new Golden State Warriors arena deal became clearer when the NBA team, San Francisco Mayor Mission Bay Alliance and the University of California San Francisco (Mission Bay Alliance) announced several preliminary agreements that addressed UCSF concerns about the facility’s impact on a nearby hospital.

“I’m happy to announce that we’ve reached a consensus on the most critical issues, and now we’re ready to move forward – together,” said Mayor Lee. “For residents and visitors alike, San Francisco is already one of the world’s greatest cities. With these agreements and solid working partnerships in motion, Mission Bay will now be home to UCSF, one of the finest medical institutions in the world, and the world-champion Golden State Warriors at a state-of-the-art, privately funded events center.”

The agreement means UCSF officially approves the arena plan if several conditions are met: if the City and the team were able to adequately address the university’s concerns, mostly around traffic, access to the hospitals, and overlapping events at nearby AT&T Park. The three parties reached preliminary agreement on a variety of measures to effectively manage traffic and facilitate access to the hospital, thereby protecting patient safety.

“Our focus from Day 1 has been to protect hospital access and patient safety,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood. “Together, these agreements — one creating a dedicated transportation improvement fund, the other a ‘special circumstances cap’ requiring last-resort limitations on certain dual events should traffic reach unmanageable levels — will provide the safeguards UCSF needs to fully endorse the Warriors’ Arena project. We believe they represent a win-win.”

Despite the agreement, there’s still opposition to the plan, as evidenced by this statement from the Mission Bay Alliance:

“The proposed agreement between UCSF and the Golden State Warriors accomplishes nothing but permanent gridlock and life-threatening delays for San Francisco. The Mission Bay Alliance will fight even harder to protect UCSF and healthcare in S.F. since the UCSF Chancellor seems willing to sell out his own patients, staff and the public.”

Despite the opposition, the Warriors and Lee say a new arena can be managed to minimize any impacts on the neighborhood.

“We know if we work together, we’ll be able to achieve everyone’s goals,” said Warriors President Rick Welts. “We’ve got the measures in place to keep the neighborhood moving, to make sure it works for residents, workers and visitors alike. But we’re prepared to go the extra mile – to guard against worst-case scenarios – because we know it’s important to UCSF and the folks that live in Mission Bay. That’s part of being a good neighbor.”

The Warriors arena will play host to NBA basketball, as well as small and large concerts, family shows, conventions and a variety of other attractions. Of the top 25 cities in the U.S., by population, San Francisco is the only one without an indoor arena of 12,000 seats or more.

The 18,050-seat arena will anchor 11 acres of restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas and other amenities the neighborhood currently lacks, and will trigger the development of a five-and-a half-acre public park on the waterfront.

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