What's next for Warriors' arena?

786218.jpg

What's next for Warriors' arena?

On May 19 Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob stated: It is going to happen, let there be no doubt, when speaking about the new arena the team is going to privately finance and build in San Francisco on Piers 3032. As the Warriors continue to unveil details on the deal there is a checklist of key points that will tell the tale at the start of the 2017-2018 season.

1.) Debt load and project financing: The partnership led by Lacob and Peter Guber paid 450 million to buy the team. Add on another 600 million of privately financed cash to pay for the arena and you are talking a cool billion. How they make the arena project into a positive cash register will be a tricky financial transaction.

2.) Bond payoff in Oakland: If they move theyll reportedly be on the hook for an estimated 70-95 million relating to the Coliseum arena retrofit. With the As and Raiders' future in Oakland a question, you would think that the city will fight hard to get paid if the Warriors leave town.

3.) Premium seating: It's assumed there will be price escalation in the new arena, but until the number of suites and their prices are revealed its a waiting game. Keep your eyes open for the new arena preview center which will be constructed a few years out to sell premium seats, suites and and season tickets for the new arena.

4.) Naming rights: This is a critical component of any privately financed sports venue. The 49ers have not announced a partner or the price tag for naming rights on their stadium. Industry estimates say they are shopping a deal between 300-400 million over 20 years. This number would help set the market for the Warriors. Pacific Bell (AT&T) paid 50 million to the Giants over 24 years.

5.) Breaking ground and driving piles: For a 2017 opener they will have to start actual arena construction 24-26 months out, which means the summer of 2015.

6.) The San Francisco Board of Supervisors: No matter what mayor Ed Lee says, navigating this project through the Board of Supervisors will be no slam dunk.

7.) The Past is prologue: It took the politically savvy Giants 16 years to realize the dream that became AT&T Park. The new football stadium that's being constructed in Santa Clara was preceded by 13 years of heavy lifting. Piers 3032 have had four previous unsuccessful attempts at development, including the most recent by the city and software billionaire Larry Ellison. The piers were going to be the hub for the events of Americas Cup 2013. The five-year construction timetable set by Warriors ownership is very ambitious.

8.) San Francisco seals: Anytime a construction project touches San Francisco Bay a significant (EIR) Environmental Impact Review process ensues -- especially for one of this magnitude. Dealing with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) guidelines tends to slow down even the most optimistic developers. The lineup of groups with oversight and input on the project will include:
Save The Bay
S.F. Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Port of San Francisco
California Coastal Commission
Baykeeper
Save the Bay
Bay Planning Coalition
California Dept. of Fish & Game
Bay Institute of San Francisco
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
California Land Commission
Sailors Union of the Pacific
Embarcaderians: any number of community groups that will look to preserve the unique nature of the Embarcadero.

9.) San Francisco Giants: On April 4, the Giants announced a mixed use residential and commercial development on 27 acres at Mission Rock. The Giants and their development partner Cordish will break ground in 2015. Initially it looked like the Giants and the Warriors were going to partner on this land for the new arena.

10.) Warrior fans: No doubt this is one of the most loyal groups in all of sports. The Warriors' season ticket base is one of the healthiest in the NBA. You can make a solid case that outside of New York, L.A., Chicago, Dallas, Miami and San Antonio, the Bay Area is the best market for NBA basketball in the country.

11.) Warrior worriors: Its critical to win when you are marketing a new building, as the 49ers proved last season. The Warriors need to reverse a playoff drought that has left them out of postseason play 17 out of the last 18 years. The next three seasons will be hugely important to the success at the negotiating table for the project to move forward on time.

Over his 40-year career, sports executive Andy Dolich has held positions at the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers. He is the Sports Business Insider for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”