UPDATE: Warriors President Rick Welts announced Friday that the team will delay the opening of its new Mission Bay arena by one year due to the recent lawsuits filed by opponents of its location. Construction, which is expected to last two years, is now expected to be complete in time for the 2019 NBA season.
"We bought into this process three years ago. This is part of the process — anybody has the right to sue. We accept that," Welts said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "We're going to win. We have every confidence that 2019 is going to happen. The project is in great shape on all fronts. We have a lawsuit we have to win."
Mission Bay Alliance spokesman Sam Singer said in a statement after Welts' announcement, "This is a victory for the Mission Bay Alliance and the people of San Francisco who steadfastly opposed this massive arena and entertainment complex next to a children’s hospital in Mission Bay."
- The Mission Bay Alliance, alleging the planned $1 billion Golden State Warriors arena violates the California Environmental Quality Act, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the development, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The earliest a judge could rule on the suit is reportedly November of this year.
- The lawsuit claims that the team’s 18,064-seat arena, which will be located across the street from University of California, San Francisco women’s, children’s and cancer hospitals, does not adequately address traffic, air quality or noise concerns. The lawsuit states, "Some people will die trying to get to the hospital if this stadium is built next to the emergency room."
- The Alliance, which is comprised of current and former faculty from UCSF as well as nurses and families of hospital patients at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay said it is a case of "very bad planning" to allow the arena to be built 1,000 feet from "an emergency room in an area designed for biotech."
Alliance spokesman Sam Singer said the law that expedites legal challenges based on the CEQA may not apply to this case because, he alleges, the Warriors application for an expedited review lacked "appropriate documentation."
Arena development spokesman P.J. Johnston said the Alliance’s true goal is to delay the project through litigation because, according to Johnston, the Alliance knows it can’t win.
"They've never been interested in sitting down to talk about compromise," Johnston told the Business Journal. "They've never been interested in finding common ground. They've simply threatened to sue. So the desire to delay is not surprising since the likelihood of prevention altogether has become increasingly remote."
The development, in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area, would include two office towers and a large plaza lined with shops and restaurants. In October, the Warriors selected the joint venture of Clark Construction and Mortenson to build the arena, and both companies have extensive experience tackling major league sports venues.
Mortenson is currently building the Minnesota Vikings' new home, U.S. Bank Stadium, which has been in the press recently for a bird safety controversy and a dispute over change orders. Mortenson’s other major league sports projects include the Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Wild NHL team, the Target Center for the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA team, and Target Field for the Minnesota Twins MLB team.
Meanwhile, Clark also built the Nationals Park MLB stadium in Washington, DC, and FedExField for the Washington Redskins NFL team.