In response to advocacy from neighborhood and environmental groups, including San Francisco Baykeeper, the Golden State Warriors basketball team will not build a giant basketball arena on the waterfront of the San Francisco Embarcadero. Baykeeper is pleased that precious open-water views of the Bay from the shore south of the Bay Bridge won’t be blocked by the arena, and construction won’t threaten shoreline habitat.
The team is instead planning to build the arena on a 12-acre site in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. While still close to the shoreline, the arena will not be built on piers that extend over the water.
Baykeeper opposed the construction of the arena on Piers 30-32, which was the original plan. By law, San Francisco’s piers are property held in trust as public assets for the people of California. They can only be used for maritime purposes, water-related projects, or public spaces such as parks.
Currently, there are no buildings on Piers 30-32, and the behemoth arena would have permanently obstructed views in a neighborhood with limited access to parks and open space. The plan included a condominium tower that would have cut off views even more. Moreover, building an arena on the piers would have involved reconstruction that would have polluted San Francisco Bay.
Global climate change added another complication to the project, due to rising sea levels. Water already covers parts of the Embarcadero during the year’s highest tides. With scientists predicting up to a five-foot rise in Bay levels by 2100, building a giant sports complex over the Bay was simply unwise.
Baykeeper joined with other environmental groups, neighborhood associations, and community activists to oppose the basketball arena at this location on the Bay’s shore. We will continue to advocate for development decisions that protect the Bay, its shoreline, and the public’s access to the Bay.