SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors agreed to terms Tuesday to buy 12 acres of land in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood to build a new arena.
The Warriors are buying the land from salesforce.com. The team was originally hoping to build a new arena on San Francisco’s waterfront but those plans faced opposition from critics concerned about traffic, environmental issues and blocked views of the Bay Bridge.
"We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit," owner Joe Lacob said. "It is a wonderful inland site in a dynamic part of the city that is convenient for fans from all over the Bay Area."
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The proposed arena will hold about 18,000 seats and the Warriors said it will be privately financed on private land near the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark.
"We’ve spent the past two years listening," team President Rick Welts said. "We’ve learned a lot. We’re proud of the plans we’ve put forward to date, and we’re thrilled to announce this great leap forward. We are looking forward to engaging with the neighborhood and, ultimately, making this site `Warriors Ground.’ This is our path to San Francisco."
Golden State is targeting the 2018-19 season to open the arena. The team first arrived in San Francisco in 1962 and played there until moving to Oakland for the 1971-72 season.
The Warriors have had great fan support in Oakland, setting the second-highest total attendance in franchise history for this season with 803,436 fans. The team sold out all 41 home games and has a streak of 79 consecutive sellouts.
"Oakland sports fans are the best in the country, and they’ve been selling out Warriors games for decades with unbeatable energy and support," Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement. "Meanwhile, we’ve been hard at work preparing new stadium opportunities for all our sports teams, and the Warriors remain welcome in those plans should they change their minds."