OAKLAND (CBS 5) - The Golden State Warriors are reportedly poised to move back across the bay and take up residence down the street from AT&T Park.
Owner Joe Lacob said he is not yet prepared to make any announcement, but the Bay Area News Group and ESPN both reported Monday that the team is moving forward with the idea of a waterfront arena at Piers 30 and 32. The location is currently used primarily as a parking lot.
KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:
The 13-acre area, at one point, was going to be the hub of the America's Cup race. Race organizers have dropped those plans.
Mayor Ed Lee sent a letter on May 11th saying the city would work with Warriors executives to bring the team to San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 season. The Warriors' lease at Oakland's Oracle Arena expires at the end of the 2016-2017 season.
Speaking after an event honoring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this afternoon, Lee said, "We've put our best foot forward for the Warriors to consider San Francisco" and added that "we're going to patiently wait for their decision."
Lee said an arena deal would not be funded by taxpayer money and said he thinks San Francisco is an attractive option for the team because "our city has got that whole pedigree of success."
Pelosi also talked to reporters about the team's possible move back to San Francisco.
"I really hope that the Warriors do come, I love going to the games and it would be great having them closer by," she said. "I'm rooting for the announcement to be made ... it's pretty exciting."
San Francisco has agreed to put up $8 million into shoring up the aging piers. But experts warned that the site would actually need at least $50 million in foundation work to handle a major development.
Following the reports of the Warriors pending move, Oakland Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell released the following statement: "We are still in direct dialogue with the Warriors about the opportunity to build a new arena. We have always been aware that they are exploring all their options, including a San Francisco site. We continue to believe that Coliseum City offers the best new home to the Warriors, Oakland A's and Oakland Raiders.
Shawn Patten, owner of Red's Java House - an institution on the Embarcadero at the site of Piers 30 and 32 - said his iconic spot can readily coexist if the Warriors do move to San Francisco.
In fact, he said team brass visited the site over the weekend and the team president told him they will soon be neighbors.
KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:
"He says they're definitely coming," said Patten, who said no details were exchanged. "He said they're going to come and they're very serious about the whole deal."
Patten said it would be fantastic for his business and the Warriors have promised that his dive bar and burger joint can stay on the edge of the pier.
"Red's is an institution. It's been here for years," said Patten. "Nobody's going to mess with Red's. If you mess with Red's, you're messing with San Francisco."
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