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Joe Lacob: Chase Center Could Open in 2019

Proposed Golden State Warriors arena

Construction on the Chase Center could begin early next year, allowing the Golden State Warriors to begin playing in the arena in 2019. That is according to recent remarks from Warriors owner Joe Lacob

The efforts by the Warriors to construct the privately-financed Chase Center in Mission Bay have been ongoing for several years. At one point the franchise believed that a move from Oakland to San Francisco could happen by next year, but the project has been stalled by legal disputes.

Contending that the arena’s construction will cause harm to the surrounding area, the Mission Bay Alliance has voiced several concerns, including what it predicts will be a major traffic conflict between the Chase Center and the nearby University of San Francisco California (UCSF) Medical Center at Mission Bay. Over the summer a case that pitted the Mission Bay Alliance against the City of San Francisco and the Warriors allowed the Chase Center to move forward, as an environmental review of the project was deemed adequate.

However, that case is now being heard by an appellate court, with the Mission Bay Alliance contending that the review was not thorough enough for a project like the Chase Center. According to Lacob the case will be heard this month, and the Warriors are optimistic the result will allow them to begin construction in the early phases of 2017. More from The San Jose Mercury news:

“The city has been great. We’re ready to go,” he said. “Completely. It’s been a long process. The architects, all that work is done. The design, all that work is done. The money is in place. Has been for a long time. We’re ready to go. The city unanimously approved. We just need the appellate court to cooperate and do the right thing, and then we’re gonna go get this thing done. And it’s gonna be one of the greatest arenas you’ve ever seen.”

But court cases can be known to drag, even beyond the appellate court. Could there be another step, beyond this next decision, that would stall construction?

“There is the possibility that they, the opposition, if they lose, could ask – ask – for an appeal to the Supreme Court of the state of California,” he said. “Then the supreme court, as I understand it — I’m not a lawyer — can decide to hear a case like that. That’s very rare that they’d hear a case like that, that at two levels of the courts has been decided strongly. There’s a very, very small probability, possibility that the Supreme Court could (hear it). But to be honest with you, our goal is to break ground regardless.”

While the Warriors would surely welcome the prospect of getting underway with the project in early 2017, the timeline is still affected by the pending case. Until then, it remains a waiting game.

RELATED STORIES: Mission Bay Alliance Appeals Ruling on Warriors ArenaChase Center Clears Legal Hurdle

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