They promised a championship to a franchise that hasn’t won a title since 1975. They promised playoffs just before the conclusion of a 36-win season.
Tuesday, standing on a dilapidated slab of pier — decorated by blue carpet, fancy tables and a picturesque backdrop — the Warriors promised to build the NBA’s version of the Sydney Opera House in five years.
For one, NBA Commissioner David Stern believes him.
Stern said he is confident co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber will successfully pull off the ever-so-daunting task of a new arena on Piers 30/32. With San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on board, and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom offering his aid, Stern called it “a coming together of the stars” that will lead to the erection of the Warriors’ new arena on the San Francisco waterfront in 2017.
Maybe Stern was caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the day. Maybe he was feeling especially Pollyannaish, overwhelmed by the gorgeous views and relaxing weather Tuesday on the Pier.
Or, maybe, if you believe Stern, this vision for a world-class, space-age arena Warriors ownership has planned is their best chance at actually fulfilling a promise. Here is the Stern transcript. (NOTE: Paintings of waterfront arena at end of transcript)
Have you seen specifics on this and do you know they can get this done?
I wouldn’t profess to be all knowing. But I have gauged situations like this in other cities— where the nets are now building in Brooklyn, where Orlando just completed a new facility in Orlando, where the Garden is undergoing a billion-dollar renovation. I’ve seen every city in the NBA from 1987 until now deliver a new building and I think that San Francisco is going to want to join that group.
Why San Francisco and not Oakland?
That’s their call. This is the Golden State Warriors. There are huge numbers of fans in the Bay Area. They consider themselves a Bay Area team and they did the venue selection. So I don’t want to get exactly into that. But clearly half of their fans are from the East and half from the West Bay. This seems to be a very good site with an enormous amount of public transportation that is accessible.
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