The Golden State Warriors may have vanquished their off-court opponents and appear ready to move forward on a Mission Bay stadium, dubbed the Chase Center, where the Examiner reports pre-construction work on the 11-acre site is already underway.
In July, a Superior Court judge ruled against a group of UCSF benefactors and ex-officials whose latest challenge to the project targeted its environmental review. Dissatisfied, the Mission Bay Alliance who emerged in April of 2015 with the intention of rejecting the arena project, appealed the decision. But yesterday, a panel of appellate court judges unanimously rejected that appeal.
"We're very pleased with the Court of Appeal's thoughtful and comprehensive ruling,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a press release announcing the decision. “It shows that a rigorous environmental review was conducted."
In a statement, Rick Welts, Warriors president and COO, said he was “very pleased by the Appellate Court’s ruling... This decision clears the path for us to build a new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue and bring the Warriors back home to San Francisco.” Welts continued that he looked forward to "breaking ground soon."
The 18,500-seat stadium will bear the name the Chase Center after those rights were purchased in January. Consulting the project schedule, Socketsite writes that the groundbreaking will have to occur in the first quarter of 2017 for the team to reach its goal of opening in time for the tip off of the 2019-2020 NBA season, a year delayed already.
The project has been a long-term goal of Mayor Lee's administration, and he celebrated the appellate court's ruling in a press release. “As a world class city, we’ve just upped our game with a world class arena that will bring home our Golden State Warriors," he said, thanking the "support of UCSF, the biotech community, and the Mission Bay, Dogpatch and Potrero community organizations," i.e. everyone who wasn't causing a stink.
Complaints from the arena-opposing Mission Bay Alliance centered around the stadium's potential to create traffic in an area near hospitals and in the path of ambulances. Unhappy with the recent ruling, the Mission Bay Alliance released a statement obtained by the Business Times. "Our legal team is reviewing the ruling and considering options," they wrote. We believe that the proposed Warriors’ arena is incompatible with the Mission Bay South neighborhood and would result in blocked access to UCSF hospitals, dangerous air pollution, and traffic gridlock throughout the community."
Today's decision, the Business Times explains, could be appealed a second time to the California Supreme Court. That's quite a long shot, but hey, the Warriors have blown bigger leads before.
Previously: Judge Rules Warriors Arena Can Go Forward