Mayor Lee, UCSF & Golden State Warriors Announce Agreements That Clear Way For UCSF Endorsement Of Proposed Mission Bay Event Center & Arena
Mayor’s Office, UCSF & Warriors Reach Preliminary Agreement on Mission Bay; City to Create Transportation Improvement Fund for Neighborhood; Warriors Agree to Limit on Events in Special Circumstances
Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Golden State Warriors announced several preliminary agreements related to the proposed sports and entertainment complex in Mission Bay, which the Warriors plan to privately finance and build on a vacant lot near the new UCSF Medical Center at Third and 16th Streets.
If, after completing an environmental impact report (EIR) for the Warriors’ proposed Event Center and associated development and conducting a robust public hearing process, the City’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) ultimately approves the project and various City Commissions and the Board of Supervisors take actions on the project, the preliminary agreements will take effect and address traffic and other access issues to UCSF’s satisfaction.
“I’m happy to announce that we’ve reached a consensus on the most critical issues, and now we’re ready to move forward – together,” said Mayor Lee. “For residents and visitors alike, San Francisco is already one of the world’s greatest cities. With these agreements and solid working partnerships in motion, Mission Bay will now be home to UCSF, one of the finest medical institutions in the world, and the world-champion Golden State Warriors at a state-of-the-art, privately funded events center.”
UCSF announced qualified support for the Warriors arena plan in July, saying the project would be a “win-win” – if the City and the team were able to adequately address the university’s concerns, mostly around traffic, access to the hospitals, and overlapping events at nearby AT&T Park. Since that time, Mayor Lee has convened a series of discussions among all the parties to resolve those concerns.
The three parties reached preliminary agreement on a variety of measures to effectively manage traffic and facilitate access to the hospital, thereby protecting patient safety. As a result, UCSF now officially endorses the Warriors’ proposed plan and project.
“Our focus from Day 1 has been to protect hospital access and patient safety,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood. “Together, these agreements — one creating a dedicated transportation improvement fund, the other a ‘special circumstances cap’ requiring last-resort limitations on certain dual events should traffic reach unmanageable levels — will provide the safeguards UCSF needs to fully endorse the Warriors’ Arena project. We believe they represent a win-win.”
As part of the preliminary agreements, Mayor Lee introduced legislation Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors to establish a Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund. The new Fund – which will be paid for and fully funded solely by new revenues from the Warriors project itself – is designed to guarantee that resources will be in place to manage the flow of visitors, traffic and transit in the area around the arena, once it opens. The Board of Supervisors must next consider and hear public comment on this legislation.
The Warriors arena is already set to generate more than $27 million in upfront funds for transportation and infrastructure improvements in Mission Bay (along with $125 million for parks, open space and affordable housing). The new Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund will ensure that at least another $10 million will be available annually to spend on traffic mitigations, for the life of the arena.
That money will go to things like:
• Four new light rail cars to be dedicated to serving the arena, and available at other times to augment general Muni light rail service;
• A new, expanded light rail platform serving the arena and all of Mission Bay;
• A “Local/Hospital Access Plan” designed to keep certain streets clear of event traffic to allow UCSF, local businesses and residents smooth access at all times;
• Increased bus and light rail service before and after arena events, including more than a quadrupling of service on the T-Third Muni Metro line;
• Up to 28 traffic control officers deployed before and after games and events, more than currently serve Giants games (which games seat four times as many attendees as the average arena event);
• Enhanced police foot patrols and street cleaning operations on event days to ensure orderly arrivals and departures; and
• Studying the feasibility of new or enhanced transportation options, such as dedicated ferry service, for the neighborhood.
All funds for this effort will come from new revenues generated by the Warriors sports and entertainment center.
The Fund legislation – which is co-sponsored by 10 members of the Board of Supervisors (Board President London Breed and Supervisors David Campos, Julie Christensen, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Katy Tang, Scott Wiener and Norman Yee) – also establishes an Advisory Committee with representatives from UCSF, the Warriors, neighborhood businesses and residents to advise the city on how to improve service and keep traffic flowing.
The “special circumstances cap” is an unprecedented agreement between the Warriors and UCSF that calls for a limitation on the number of events in special circumstances if traffic on key hospital access routes violates a predetermined standard. It works like this: If, despite the efforts described above, certain traffic problems persist involving overlapping events (meaning weeknight Giants home games and certain arena events of more than 12,500 attendees), the Warriors will cap such overlapping events at 12 per year. A preliminary agreement between the Warriors and UCSF proposes a methodology for this special circumstances cap. No other NBA arena operates under such conditions.
“We believe the dedicated funding for traffic management and transportation and the special circumstances event cap will help protect patient safety in the near-term,” said Chancellor Hawgood. “But the real test for UCSF, the Warriors and other businesses and residents in the Southeast quarter of the city is to continue to work together to bring planned transportation improvements on line and champion new ones to address continued growth in the Third Street corridor. The agreements we’ve completed today are a great start.”
“We know if we work together, we’ll be able to achieve everyone’s goals,” said Warriors President Rick Welts. “We’ve got the measures in place to keep the neighborhood moving, to make sure it works for residents, workers and visitors alike. But we’re prepared to go the extra mile – to guard against worst-case scenarios – because we know it’s important to UCSF and the folks that live in Mission Bay. That’s part of being a good neighbor.”
The Warriors purchased an option on the private property at Third and 16th Street in 2014, and have spent the past year and a half participating in a public planning process. Environmental review is expected to be completed this fall; the team plans to open the new arena in time for the 2018-19 NBA season.
“The Warriors are investing in our City to the tune of more than a billion dollars,” said Mayor Lee. “They’re creating thousands of good-paying, union jobs. They’re bringing energy and vitality to a neighborhood that needs it. And they’re the only sports team in America doing all this with private funds, on private land, with no public subsidy. Talk about a win-win!”
The land in Mission Bay, a vacant lot on a former redevelopment area, has been slated for development since 1998.
The Warriors arena will play host to NBA basketball, as well as small and large concerts, family shows, conventions and a variety of other attractions. Of the top 25 cities in the U.S., by population, San Francisco is the only one without an indoor arena of 12,000 seats or more.
The 18,050-seat arena will anchor 11 acres of restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas and other amenities the neighborhood currently lacks, and will trigger the development of a five-and-a half-acre public park on the waterfront.
The arena will be located on a major Muni Metro rail line with easy links to BART and other transit options.
UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF is San Francisco’s second-largest employer with more than 23,000 employees. The new $1.5 billion UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which includes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, the Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital and the Bakar Cancer Center, is projected to treat 130,000 patients in its first year. For more information, go to: www.ucsf.edu.