Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Getting out of the way for "smart growth"

Oracle Arena

I laughed when I read the first sentence of the Bruce Jenkins story in this morning's Chronicle: "Sometimes it's best to get out of the way."

His story was ostensibly about how Draymond Green ran into LeBron James the other night, but it could have been a reference to his 2015 opinion questioning how necessary it is to build a new arena for the Warriors in San Francisco:

In the process of addressing the media before Game 1, Commissioner Adam Silver proclaimed the Warriors “need a new arena. There is no doubt about that.” You figure he can’t say much else, hanging out with co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber as they chart the path to San Francisco, but the Warriors’ East Bay fan base begs to differ. Fenway Park is a structure from some other time, but its treasures are preserved. Wrigley Field didn’t get torn down, just renovated. Oracle doesn’t have that brand of charm or tradition, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, especially now as it thrives in the Finals spotlight...

As one of the few dissenters in the local media---except for Jenkins and me, are there any others?---to question the big push to build a new, traffic-snarling arena on the city's waterfront, Jenkins has to get out of the way on a day when the Chronicle is full of self-congratulatory crap about the ground-breaking on the waterfront.

There's nothing at all inadequate about Oracle Arena: It has a 19,000 capacity and is sold out for every Warriors' game. The waiting list for season tickets is more than 32,000 names long. Oracle has acres of parking and is right next to the freeway. 

If Lacob and Guber don't like Oracle, why don't they just buy it, remodel it, and put in more luxury boxes?

Because they want the prestige of a San Francisco address, and Mayor Lee wants a "legacy "project." Big bankrolls and big egos, and the city gets a legacy of traffic gridlock on the waterfront. 

City Hall calls this sort of thing "smart growth." Let the next generation deal with the traffic.

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At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely nothing wrong with oracle. Majority fan base is in the east bay they have the parking and seats more people than the new sf arena about 20,000 or so. Majority of season ticket holders are also east bay.
Maybe they're banking on the commercial space who knows. But the way it's look seems like it's going to be one of the worst arenas in the league to get to and from.

Stupid move in my opinion. 49ers made the same mistake


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