Things aren't looking great for the cause of opposing the Warriors Arena project, now dubbed the Chase Center, which remains overwhelmingly supported by SF residents, the Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors alike. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong is minutes or days away from deciding a case which was the most recent salvo by the Mission Bay Alliance a coalition of wealthy individuals and UCSF benefactors whose motives haven't been entirely clear in their legal maneuvering to stop or relocate the project. And as the Business Times reports, the Alliance's PR strategist of the last couple of years, Sam Singer, has quit citing "strategic differences." This comes two months after the Alliance's high-powered law firm, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, quietly fired them as a client as well.
The pending legal decision is in a case filed against a group of San Francisco city government agencies and boards regarding the environmental review process, after the city affirmed the project's environmental impact report, and the Board of Supervisors unanimously certified it last December. The lawsuit, one of at least three filed by the Alliance, was one factor in the Warriors deciding to delay construction though they are confident in saying that the arena will open as planned now in the fall of 2019.
The Warriors scored a $200 million-plus naming rights deal with JPMorgan Chase & Co. back in January, giving it the name Chase Center, as the Chronicle reported.
The Mission Bay Alliance has been rattling swords in this mess for over a year now, having gained the backing of current and former faculty and nurses at UCSF. We know that Chiron Corp. founder Bill Rutter and former UCSF administrator Bruce Spaulding are involved, but the entire coalition has never really been made public and nor have their exact intentions, though it seems clear they want the arena site to be kept under UCSF's control, even though the powers that be at UCSF have already given their blessing to the project.
Still pending is a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging that the City of San Francisco and the Warriors violated state environmental regulations in getting the arena project approved; and there's a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court alleging that UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood wasn't authorized to negotiate a traffic mitigation deal with the Warriors.
Nevertheless the Alliance has shown no signs of backing down, and they have new legal counsel as of April: Browne George Ross LLP.