Joe Lacob, the majority owner of the Golden State Warriors, has come out swinging in the Business Times with regard to that shadowy Mission Bay Alliance that emerged last week with the goal of killing the Warriors Arena project. He says of the faceless group, "I wish they would speak up and be public about who they are instead of hiding behind the bushes." And he sounds confident that with Mayor Ed Lee's help, and because they've so far done everything above board, that the threats by the group to challenge the Warriors' environmental impact filing are nothing to worry about.
The other possibility is a ballot measure like the "No Wall On the Waterfront" campaign which could very well gain traction.
It seems clear that some segment of UCSF Foundation board members are likely the culprits, and are being sensitive to the fact that the Warriors' ambitious, mixed-use development will crowd out UCSF's new hospital and its accessibility especially with its 18,000-seat capacity, relatively limited parking, and plans for 200 event nights a year. And now Chronicle columnist Chuck Nevius is weighing in about the involvement of political power-player Jack Davis, calling Davis "pugnacious [and] outrageous" and saying nobody should doubt him when he promises to have lawyers "go over every single line (of the Warriors’ filing)."
Nevius wants to remind everyone that it was Davis who was instrumental in preventing the Giants from moving to San Jose back in 1992, thereby getting AT&T Park built he created a campaign mailer that was a sticker to put over your light switch with the face of then team owner Bob Lurie, and a hole where his nose should be. The tag: "Flip off Bob Lurie." The campaign helped lose the vote for a San Jose ballpark.
And the warning is we should watch out for a possible ballot initiative, especially if Davis is helping, and the arena could be in some serious trouble.
Lacob, though, is still dismissing the idea that there could be any serious threat, or that there's any issue with ownership of the land (the team signed a purchase agreement, but don't own it outright yet). "I can state unequivocally that [this alliance blocking the arena] is never happening," he says confidently to the Business Times. "We are going to do this with the help of the mayor. We own the land and we intend to develop it one way or the other."