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.

LeBron doesn't want to discuss Warriors yet: 'They cause a lot of stress'

LeBron doesn't want to discuss Warriors yet: 'They cause a lot of stress'

On Thursday night, the Cavs beat the Celtics 135-102 to punch a ticket to their third straight NBA Finals.

LeBron James racked up 35 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 35 minutes.

After the win, he was asked about the challenge of facing the Warriors.

"I'm gonna be honest -- I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State," LeBron told reporters. "It's too stressful and I'm not stressed right now. I'm very happy about our accomplishment ... they've been the best team in our league the last three years and then they added an MVP.

"That's all I can get you right now because I'm happy and I don't want to be stressed."

On Christmas Day, the Cavs erased a 14-point fourth quarter deficit and Kyrie Irving hit the game-winner with 3.4 seconds remaining.

On MLK Day, Golden State jumped on the Cavs early -- leading 37-22 at the end of the first quarter and 78-49 at the half -- en route to a 126-91 victory.

For the first time in NBA history, the same two teams are facing off in the Finals for the third straight year.

Cleveland boasts a postsesaon record of 12-1.

Golden State is the only team ever to enter the Finals with a record of 12-0.

"They cause a lot of stress," LeBron added. "And I'll get to that point when we start to prepare for them."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

The Trilogy has arrived.

The Warriors. The Cavaliers. Facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive postseason. The series begins June 1 with Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With a 135-102 victory over the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs advance to face a Warriors team riding the wave created by being the first club in NBA history to start the postseason with 12 straight wins.

With the teams splitting the first two Finals, the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs prevailing last June, this one is to break the tie.

In the meantime, both teams have done some significant retooling.

The Warriors last summer added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, along with veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Though LeBron James remains the hub of the Cavs, the team made several in-season changes, most notably adding veterans Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The Warriors came into the playoffs having earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of their NBA-best 67-15 record. They’re 27-1 since March 11, having ended the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 games before taking out Portland, Utah and San Antonio in four games each to reach The Finals.

The Cavaliers (51-31) held the top seed in the East for most of the season before staggering over the final six weeks, going 9-12 over their final 21 games, including four consecutive losses to end the season.

Cleveland seems to have recovered from its late-season slump, sweeping Indiana and Toronto in the first two rounds before ousting the Celtics in five.

The Warriors and Cavs split two games in the regular season, each team winning on its home floor. Cleveland took a 109-108 decision on Christmas Day, while the Warriors came back for a 126-91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Oakland.

The NBA Finals schedule can be seen below. 

Game 1 – Thu  June  1  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 2 – Sun  June  4  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM  

Game 3 – Wed  June  7  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 4 – Fri  June  9  Golden State at Cleveland             6:00PM  

Game 5 * Mon  June 12  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 6 * Thu  June 15  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 7 * Sun  June 18  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM