Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/4/14
The Golden State Warriors are putting their goal of opening a waterfront arena in San Francisco by 2017 on hold for a year - and maybe longer. "It's about getting it right, not about getting it done fast," said Warriors President Rick Welts. In the past 20 months, the team has produced three rough designs in an attempt to come up with one palatable to its prospective waterfront neighbors and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which must approve the deal. In the meantime, cost estimates for preparing Piers 30-32, on which the arena would sit, have doubled to $180 million. The Warriors' acknowledgement that a 2017 opening won't happen comes just days before arena opponents are expected to turn in more than 15,000 signatures for a measure that would require the Warriors - and any other developer - to win voter approval to exceed current height limits along the waterfront. The deadline is Monday. "We are going to ensure that the Warriors arena goes before voters," said Jim Stearns, the political consultant who is running the campaign for a June vote with the backing of the Sierra Club and others opposed to the 18,000-seat arena. Backers had to gather the valid signatures of 9,702 registered voters to qualify their measure for the ballot. "The fact that this could get the needed signatures in just three weeks is a reflection of the kind of passion that is behind it," said former Mayor Art Agnos, the most prominent politico opposing the Warriors' proposal. The measure is also a shot at the team's plan to build luxury condos and a hotel across from an arena, as well as at the Giants' envisioned high-rise development near AT&T Park.
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