Rendering of the proposed arena at
Piers 28-30 in San Francisco.
ASSEMBLY//WARRIORS | An legislative end-run that could hasten the approval of a waterfront arena in San Francisco for the Golden State Warriors easily passed the Assembly Thursday.
San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting’s bill would allow the Legislature to determine whether the proposed 17,500-seat arena in the shadow of the Bay Bridge qualifies as a use consistent with the state Tidelands and Submerged Lands Act.
Critics of the plan say the arena is inconsistent with the public trust doctrine that limits the use of waterfront properties to maritime purposes. AB 1273, if it becomes law, allows the San Francisco Port Commission to approve the development on public trust lands, as opposed, to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
The Assembly approved the bill Thursday, 59-10. The entire East Bay delegation vehemently opposed the measure as did San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.
East Bay Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner, Rob Bonta and Bob Wieckowski argued the waterfront arena at Piers 28-30 comes at the detriment of jobs and its struggling local economy.
“The net result of our approving this is basically that we have paved the way for a facility in San Francisco that would, in effect, negate a facility in the East Bay,” Skinner said Thursday on the Assembly floor.
“The owners of teams have the right to be located where they want to be located, but certainly each of our geographic areas should not be disadvantaged economically by legislative action that prefers one region over another and that’s the net result of this bill.”
Ammiano, a former San Francisco supervisor who labeled himself part of the “loyal opposition,” said “I don’t really think this is fully baked yet.
“It’s not that we don’t want the Warriors and we certainly want the jobs and we want the jobs in the waterfront, but it is the location and the environmental concerns and the tremendous transportation problems that would be got by rushing this bill.”
Wieckowski also said the arena legislation was premature, while Bonta, whose district includes the Coliseum complex, said the bill would impact the economic vitality of the East Bay.